A part of the reason Frog Follies was created in St. Pierre some 48 years ago, was to get the attention of Queen Elizabeth II and it worked.
"What happened was the Chamber of Commerce and some senior businessmen came up with a concept," Rolly Gagne, President of the St. Pierre Museum explains. "They suggested we create some type of an event that would represent who we are as Franco-Manitobans but also in honour of the Queen coming (to Canada)."
Getting everything together for the Queen actually started much earlier than her arrival according to Gagne. "It started in 1969 and what we did was launch the first attempt at the concept so we were ready in 1970 when she arrived."
There is a little juggling when it comes to the official history of Frog Follies, says Gagne when it was stated the Queen was at the second annual Frog Follies event. "Well, we're not supposed to use second now cause it was the first... but technically it was the second. However, the first was just kind of a tester. We did it during the Ag Fair because it was the Ag Fair that introduced the Frog Follies which a lot of people don't realize and the Ag Fair celebrated 126 years this past year versus the 53 years of the Frog Follies. So, we'll say the Queen was here for the first."
Gagne still remembers that special day in 1970 when she arrived in St. Pierre. "We had built this gigantic box in the middle of town, which was the staging area for the Queen and it was just so odd, like why are they doing this at the junction of the hospital road and highway 59, which was right in front of the church. There was so much history items going through that time, whoever thought up the concept, it was really quite amazing."
Thousands of people turned out to see the Queen and Gagne says everyone wanted to be a part of that day. "All nationalities came out from all over. It was quite an event."
Gagne passes along a message on behalf of the community. "We have to extend our sympathy for everyone in the Commonwealth, her family, and everyone that respected her."