Rangeley’s Blueberry Festival was hopping

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It doesn’t take a leap of faith to know that Rangeley’s Blueberry Festival on Aug. 20 was once again host to the annual Frog and Toad Jumping Contest.

As always, everyone had a hopping good time. There was a crowd of kids, parents, onlookers, anxiously awaiting frogs, and one tiny toad. Helping with the contest as jump measurer and judge was Dick Hall, frog retriever was Andy Hall, and record keeper and photographer was Kath Hall. Liz Pimentel officiated.

The jumpers were judged on the best of three jumps. Winners were as follows: In the Large category (4 inches and over), third place went to Nathan Quimby’s frog Jose with a 27 ¾ -inch jump; second place went to Nathan and Luke Quimby’s frog Lightning at 31 ¾ inches; and first place in the Large category, as well as first place overall, was a tie, going to Tucker Macfawn’s very big frog Fat Joe, and to Cameron Frosts’s nearly as big frog Biggie, both jumping at a whopping 42 ¼ inches!

In the Medium category (2 to 4 inches): Third place went to Kenny Thompson’s frog Douglas and to Trevor Dolbier’s frog Speed, both of whom jumped 20 ¾ inches; second place went to Levi Pitt’s frog Jefferson, at 22 ¼ inches; and Luke Gagne’s frog Little Buddy won first prize, jumping in at 24 inches. A.J. Demichele and Karen Porl’s frog Speckles won a prize for having been caught by the fastest catcher.

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In the Small category (under 2 inches) Emilee and Sierra Bursch’s frog Bob the Frog won first place at 15 inches; and Elli and Addie Zietz’s little 5/8-inch toad named Froggy came in second place with a 2 ¼ -inch jump, also winning for the smallest jump of the contest.

The contest would not be a contest without prizes. Thanks go to The Alpine Shop, Books, Lines and Thinkers, Ecopelagicon, Mo’s Variety, Backwoods Clothing and Embroidery, and Pine Tree Frosty for supplying the prizes. Thanks to Brent Quimby and Patty Ellis for supplying buckets and nets for catching the amphibians.

Thanks also to Dick, Andy and Kath for their help in running the contest, and to all the donors who gave generously to the Booster Fund. When everyone hops right to it and jumps in to assist, the contest is a lot of fun.

At the contest’s end all amphibians were safely returned to their home habitats, and luckily none of the frogs croaked.

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