Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee

June 6th, 2011 by Craig Mullins

Each year during the third weekend in May, California’s Calaveras County becomes Frog Heaven.

Nestled between Yosemite National Park and Lake Tahoe, just south of Historic Angels Camp and north of Sonora on Hwy 49, sits Frogtown; home to the Calaveras County Fair and its world-renowned Jumping Frog Jubilee.

frogtown calaveras county fair

In the early Gold Mining Days, the Mother Lode Country was very prosperous. It attracted many industrious individuals looking for adventure. One such individual was Samuel Clemens who regularly made the trip from San Francisco to a small mountain cabin near Angels Camp. It was during one of Mr. Clemens’ trips that he heard a tale that inspired his first published work, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”. The story records the antics of a character named Jim Smiley and his frog Dan’l Webster. Mr. Clemens first published this story in 1865 and used his pen name, “Mark Twain”, and so the legend began. [source]

calaveras county frog jumps

Using the frog competition as its jumping off point, the Calaveras County Fair also includes all the “normal” fair activities, from exhibits and entertainment to horse events and livestock showings; it’s the perfect place for the whole family to have a whole lot of fun.

Notable Jumping Frog Jubilee Dates:

The first Jumping Frog Jubilee was held in 1928 on Main Street in downtown Angels Camp; an estimated 15,000 people attended. Jumping 3’6”, the winning frog was named “Pride of San Joaquin”, and was jockeyed by Louis Fisher of Stockton.

By the early 1930s, attendance had crown to 25,000 spectators.

The jubilee was suspended in 1933 due to the Great Depression.

In 1938 the county fair and the jubilee were combined and became the Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee.

The current world record was set in 1986 when a frog by the name of “Rosie the Ribeter” jumped 21’ 5 ¾”; there is a $5,000 prize for breaking the world record.

frog jumps calaveras county

In 2002, more than 2,000 frogs participated in the frog jumps; there were more than 700 exhibits at the Fair and the junior livestock auction brought in more than $350,000 for the county’s youth.

frogtown brewery frog jumps

In recent years the Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee has attracted more than 35,000 attendees over the coarse of the weekend, generating approximately 25.5 million dollars in revenue due to the increased business of local hotels, restaurants, retail stores, and more.

Check out these awesome action shots taken by Robert San Agustin during the 2011 Jumping Frog Grand Finals. You can find more of his Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee pictures on his Flickr page HERE.

calaveras jumping frogs

frog jump county fair

frog jumps competition frogtown

jumping frogs calaveras - Frog Peeing While Jumping

For a closer look at the 2011 Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee, watch the below videos from The Tonight Show with Jay Leno…..

Visit Frogtown Jubilee History for a complete history of the Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee

Frogtown
2465 Gun Club Road
Angels Camp, CA 95222
Phone: (209) 736-2561
Fax: (209) 736-2476

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One Response to “Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee”

  1. Beth Lackey Says:

    I grew up in Sonora now living in Carterville/Joplin Mo and enrolled at MSSU. In my computers class we have to make a power point for the class 12 slides long. I picked this event to share with them. I wish I could use the video to play for them, I have had problems tying to put it on the power point. can I please have permission to use this video to share with them?
    Thank you
    Beth bethlackey@ymail.com

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