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Annual ‘Peepers Banquet” delivers laughs and all things green

March 20, 2011

Chuck (left) and Sara D. Fox are shown celebrating another Peepers Banquet Sunday at the Big Run War Memorial. Sara, who had suffered through some health issues this past year, was happy to be in attendance for the banquet that filled the auditorium to capacity. The peepers officially announced the arrival of spring last Thursday. (Photo by Larry McGuire/The Punxsutawney Spirit)

BIG RUN — Even though the Big Run Peepers appear to be a recent revelation — the tiny frogs peep when spring arrives — the method of proclamation is as old as time itself.

Jefferson County President Judge John H. Foradora was the guest speaker for the annual banquet and said that speaking at the banquet was one of the toughest assignments that could be presented to anyone over the years.

Foradora said you have to be clever, funny, informative; compete with Mayor Joe Buterbaugh and those like Gina Welsh, who are dressed like frogs; and compete with Shannon Shaffer's catering and all that good food.

It was very stressful since he can't make frog sounds like Terry Fye, sing like Tom Curry, and “I'm not Irish (or) look as good in green as Ed McGinnis," Foradora said, adding that he has to build up the frogs without tearing down Punxsutawney Phil, since Bill Deeley, president of the Inner Circle, was sitting right in front of him as he spoke.

"I think we can bring the animal kingdom together here," Foradora said.
Foradora began by telling a story about the annual trial judges conference that he attended the last week of February in Pittsburgh.
At the president judges’ conference, Foradora said he told several judges that he was going to be speaking to the peepers in March.

Foradora said several judges were amazed that all of the business people in Big Run are peepers.

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