Big Run peepers have peeped, signaling spring; this weekend's banquet cancelled

Staff Writer

Its official: the Big Run peepers did their thing and peeped for the first time last week in the swamp in Big Run. John Smeal, neighbor to the peepers and a member of the Peepers Banquet Committee, lives right by the swamp and said that he continues to carry on the tradition started by the late John London of charting and cataloguing the sounds that the tiny frogs make to announce the beginning of spring. London passed away in 2012.

Smeal said as he stood at the edge of the swamp that he heard the peepers singing their song on Thursday evening, March 12.

Josie McElwain, of the Peeper's Banquet Committee, stated that, unfortunately, this year's banquet has been can-celled because of the coronavirus. She said they had sold 59 tickets, and they'll refund those, either by mail or in person.

McElwain said that this would've been the 27th Peeper's Banquet — a tradition that began in 1993. "We wanted to have it, but with the coronavirus, there was no way we could take a chance with that," McElwain noted.

Big Run Mayor Joe Buterbaugh said that they'll still have a Citizen of the Year, and they'll announce the winner within the next few days.