An army of frogs invaded Rangeley’s annual Blueberry Festival on August 15. “Army” is the term for a group of frogs, and it accurately describes the 36 frogs and 1 toad who took part in the Frog and Toad Jumping Contest at the Festival – the most contenders in a single contest since 2000 (when we started keeping records.) They drew an audience of a hundred who generously donated to the Festival’s cause – the support of nonacademic activities for Rangeley students.

The jumpers were judged on the best of three jumps. Winners were as follows: In the highly competitive Medium category: First Prize and Best Overall went to Aiden Tully, age 10, and his frog Double A, who jumped a whopping 43 ½ inches.  Tied for Second Place were 8-year-old Elliot Snow’s frog Dirty and 8-year-old Eamon Mather’s Jumper for their 33-inch leaps. Third Prize was awarded to Gage Olson, age 6, whose frog Prince came close by springing in at 32 ½ inches.

Liz Pimentel

In the Large category First Place went to 9-year-old Silvi Emami-Greifendorf and her frog River Tale, vaulting in at 39 ½ inches. Twelve-year-old Lucy Greene and Sassafrass took Second Prize at 37 ½ inches, and 14-year-old Gavin White and Hoppy took Third Prize with a 36½ inch leap.

In the Small category First Place went to 10-year-old Chase Blumenfeld and his frog Fred with a 19 ¼ -inch jump. Second Prize was awarded to 13-year-old Savannah Colbert and Salami, the only toad, who, at 1 inch, was also the tiniest contestant, with an 18-inch hop. Third Prize went to Henry Emerson, age 7, and his frog Sara with a 17-inch leap.

Other prizes, starting with the Large category, were: Prettiest, to Dart, entered by Caroline Scharpf, age 11; Angriest to Lucky and his trainer Connor Bythrow; Best Squeeler went to Frogzilla and trainer Jack Bishop; Leechiest went to 9-year-old Caleb Thompson’s Bull, who also won for being the biggest entrant at 6 ¼ inches. Highest Jump went to Frogalina entered by 5-year-old Skylar Thompson; Best Escape Artist to Billy Bob Joe entered by Tessa Wiser, age 10; and Frog with Best Catcher went to Cornelius Frog and trainer Gabrielle Reynolds, 21, who caught him in mid-air.

In the Medium category, Emil Nieser (7) and Mooselook Green Legs won for Jumpiest; The prize for Fastest went to 8-year-old Andrew MacKenzie’s frog Bob; Freddy and his trainer Hallie Wiser (7) won for Spunkiest; Carin Boyd’s Edward was Most Energetic; Lillian Boyd’s Seabiscuit was Most Rambunctious; 10-year-old Tessa Wiser’s Todd was Most Pensive; Phat, owned by Violet Perona (6) was Craziest; Farkle, entered by Libby Whidden (12), was Most Royal; Bessy, trained by Seth Whidden (14) won for Plumpest; 11-year-old Brendan Marcotte’s Weekem was Best Climber. There were some vibrant hued amphibians: the prize for having a Yellow Belly went to Jumbo and his trainer Cody Marcotte (9) (who, coincidentally, won in 2018 for Most Colorful); 5-year-old Dustin Knowns’s Jaime won the Bicolor Prize, being half brown and half green; Lena Kaufmann (8) and Bella won Prettiest Eyes; Asher (8) and Aiden (10) Tully’s frog Albert won for being Darkest Green. Seven-year-old Olivia Clark’s Spunky won for Most Zigzaggy Jumps, and Frosty, entered by Asher Clark (8), won for Coldest; and 10-year-old Vanessa Colbert’s Slippery won the prize for Slipperiest.

Aiden Tully Liz Pimentel

Small category: Ten-year-old Allie MacKenzie’s Cutie Pie won for Shyest; 8-year-old Michelle Cerminara’s frog Tommy was Mr. Congeniality; and 7-year-old Olivia Heatley’s Zoomer won for Most Stage Fright.

Books, Lines and Thinkers, Ecopelagicon, Mr. Sweet Tooth, and Pine Tree Frosty provided the prizes. Brent Quimby and Patty Ellis supplied buckets and nets for catching the amphibians. Andy and Dick Hall, along with this writer, once again officiated as judges. For a second time catcher Bridget Smith did an outstanding job of returning the amphibians to their owners if they leaped out of bounds during the contest. Many donors gave to the Booster Fund. When everyone rises to the occasion, hops right to it, and jumps in to assist, the Frog Jumping Contest is ribbeting.



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