On the morning of August 18 the frogs were sad. It was a rainy day and the Town Park grounds were muddy. The amphibians didn’t mind that at all. But what they didn’t like was the news that the Blueberry Festival, and therefore the Frog and Toad Jumping Contest, was cancelled due to weather. The contest hadn’t been held for the past two summers because of the pandemic, and now that it was back, they were raring to go!
So this writer, who organized the event, and her crew of intrepid volunteers and judges decided to go forward with the contest unofficially and see who would rise to the occasion. Eight frogs leaped at the chance, along with one lonely crayfish who was ultimately banished from the contest for annoying the other competitors.
The jumpers were judged on the best of three jumps. Winners were as follows:
In the Medium category (2 inches to under-4 inches): First Prize and Best Overall went to Dylan Durant, age 12, and his frog Fred who jumped 21 inches. Second Prize went to Kylie Smith, age 9, and her frog Spot who came in at a close 19 ¾ inches. Six-year-old Sloan Sears and Hopper won Third Prize for jumping in at 17 inches. Also in that category, eleven-year-old Marina Smith’s frog Stripes won the prize for Most Consistent Jumps, measuring in at 12 ¼,      13 ½, and 12 ½ inches, and Tanner Sears’ Jumper won the prize for Nicest Eyes.
In the Large category (4 inches and up) Thomas Bresnahan, age 4, and his frog Jumper, who was a whopping 5 inches from nose to tail, won First Prize for his 19 ¼-inch leap.

Frog contestants, their human trainers, and judges assemble after the Frog Jumping Contest. Fred Dubay

In the Small category (under 2 inches) Aiden and Camden Kyle, ages 6 and 8, and their frog Zach won First Prize for jumping 18 inches after getting off  to a slow start. Emil Nieser, age 10, and his frog Blackie won Second Prize for a 9 ½-inch jump. Blackie also was the smallest frog (1.8 inches) and had the smallest jump (7 inches). Furthermore, Blackie had the distinction of being caught two times—Emil caught and then released him (thinking the contest was cancelled) then re-caught Blackie when the contest was held after all.
Thanks to our local businesses for providing the prizes: Books, Lines and Thinkers, Ecopelagicon, Jannace’s Back Woods, Pine Tree Frosty, SoJo’s Studio and Gallery, and Rangeley Made in Maine. Brent Quimby supplied nets and Patty Ellis donated buckets for catching the amphibians. Kari Silloway, Cedric Neiser, Fred Dubay, and Linda and Geoffrey Boyd judged and assisted the contest, with Linda serving as a skillful frog retriever. When everyone hops right to it, the Frog Jumping Contest is ribbetting.

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