If you’ve ever driven around Erie County, you’ve probably seen one of the giant frog statues. These 7-8-foot frogs are in multiple different locations around Erie, from schools to restaurants and everywhere in between. Different cities around the United States have chosen a certain animal to be their “mascot”. For example, Cincinnati, Ohio has claimed a squirrel as theirs, and there are bulls throughout New York City. A frog was chosen as Erie’s mascot, because of the seven different species of frogs that live in the area.
The idea of the frog statue started on June 8th, 2004 and was called Erie’s “Leapfrog Project”. The entire project was brought together by the Erie Art Museum and some other Erie locals; 10 students, an artist, 6 art teachers, and Ruth Burton, who provided the initial $3,000 project fee. This generous donation helped these individuals to get a start on the project. Proceeds from this project actually benefited the Scholarship Fund here at Gannon and the Erie Art Museum.
Each fiberglass frog started out as a blank slate, and individual artists could decorate them to their liking. After lots of decorating by many different organizations, almost all of the frogs were displayed by July of 2005. Every frog is different and very unique. Some are dressed up, and there is even one that is dressed like the Statue of Liberty. Erie is one of the first cities that displays their mascot in many different forms, such as seated, standing, etc. Though Erie is generally small, they’re hard to miss with there being almost 100 throughout the city!