Calaveras County Fair and Frog Jumping Jubilee

Calaveras County Fair and Frog Jumping Jubilee

Third weekend in May
This event is a four-day county fair, established in 1928, at the Frogtown Fairgrounds near Angels Camp, Calif. It includes the official, original frog-jumping contest based on Mark Twain's story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," as well as a children's parade, livestock competitions, a professional rodeo, a demolition derby, fireworks, and art exhibits. About 3,500 frogs are jumped in daily contests leading up to the Grand Finals on Sunday, in which there are 75 to 100 frog contestants. Jumps are measured from starting point to the landing point of the third hop. The world's record is 21' 5 3 + 4 ", set in 1986 by Rosie the Ribiter. There are cash prizes for winners in various divisions, and anyone breaking Rosie's world record will win $5,000.
Mark Twain wrote the story of the jumping frog in 1865 and claimed it was told to him as the true story of an episode in Angels Camp in 1849. In his story, the original frog, named Dan'l Webster, was owned by one Jim Smiley, who educated it to be a fine jumper. When a stranger came along, Smiley bet him $40 Dan'l Webster could out-jump any frog in Calaveras County. The time arrived for the contest, but the stranger had secretly filled Dan'l Webster with quail shot, and the frog couldn't move. The stranger took the money and left, saying (according to Twain), "Well, I don't see no p'ints about that frog that's any better'n any other frog."
CONTACTS:
39th District Agricultural Association
P.O. Box 489
Angels Camp, CA 95222
209-736-2561; fax: 209-736-2476
www.frogtown.org
SOURCES:
BkHolWrld-1986, May 22