The Hyattsville Wire recently spotted a wood carving of Kermit the Frog along one of the walking trails in University Park’s Town Park.
We are learning more about the backstory on the carving, though a resident of the area said it was commissioned by the city. More to come on this.
While Muppet’s creator Jim Henson and his family technically lived in University Park on Beechwood Road, he attended Northwestern High School in Hyattsville.
Cheryl Henson, his daughter, recently donated more than 20 Henson puppets and props to the National Museum of History in honor of the anniversary of his birthday, Sept. 24, 1936, for the Smithsonian’s Institution’s collection of Jim Henson’s Muppets. The collection features earlier donations of Kermit the Frog and Oscar the Grouch.
The recent donation includes 0riginal versions of Miss Piggy and Fozzie Bear. There are also some “Sesame Street” characters joining the collection including Cookie Monster, Bert and Ernie, Count Von Count, Grover, and Elmo.
Also part of the new donation is a puppet called Wilkins, which was used to make Wilkins coffee commercials back in the 1950’s when Henson lived in the area. He was just starting his puppeteering career when he landed a gig producing commercials for D.C.’s own Wilkins Coffee.
If you want to see the puppets, you can visit the museum this November when Kermit and Cookie Monster go on display. A puppetry exhibit scheduled to go up early next year will feature Bert and Ernie with Miss Piggy making her debut in March 2014.
And if you want a more intimate Muppets experience, take a leisurely stroll and check out the wood carving of Kermit the Frog in University Park’s Town Park.