On the afternoon of August 18, 2023, sixteen intrepid frogs and their trainers leapt at the chance to take part in the annual Frog and Toad Jumping Contest held at the Blueberry Festival in the Town Park. The popular contest drew a big crowd who rose to the occasion by cheering on the frogs and applauding their efforts.

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 Xena Faunte, age 7, and her frog Conan who leaped a whopping 35 inches. Second Prize went to Gage Olson, age 10, and his frog Prince, who came in at 33 inches. Six-year-old Sabrina Magdefrau and Jumpy won Third Prize for jumping in at 25 ½ inches. Also in that category, seven-year-old Nate McMullin’s frog Flash won the prize for Best Escape Artist, Maxten Philbrick, age 8, and Mako Shark won the prize for Superfast, Madi Ellis’s Tim won for being Most Cuddly, and the team of Conner (age 10) and Logan (age 7) Holden’s frog Croak won for the Whitest Belly.

In the Large category (4 inches and up) Saul Ellis, age 8, and his entrant Optimus Frog won First Prize for his 30 ½-inch leap. Nine-year-old Bridger MacFawn’s frog Mac came in Second Place at 29 inches.

The Small category (under 2 inches) had Tenly Philbrick and his frog Johnny Jumper winning First Prize for jumping 18 ½ inches. Camden and Aiden Kyle, ages 7 and 9, and their frog John Cena came in a close Second Place at 18 ¼ inches. Third Prize for an also close jump went to Grant and Tori LaCroix, ages 6 and 5, and their amphibian Harry, measuring in at 17 ½ inches. The team of Dacota Marshall, age 8, and Oona Elkinst, age 11, and their frog Guacamole won for being Most Consistant with jumps measuring 10 ½ inches, 11 ½ inches and 11 ½ inches. Two-year-old Olive Ryder’s frog Fitz won the prize for Most Meditative. Emma Nason, age 9, and her frog Ted won for being the Fastest Hopper. Eleven-year-old Emil Nieser’s frog Broccoli won a prize for His Sprouts.

Thank you to our local businesses for providing the prizes: Books, Lines and Thinkers, Rangeley Adventure, Jannace’s Back Woods, Pine Tree Frosty, SoJo’s Studio and Gallery, Rangeley Lakes Builder Supply, and Rangeley Made in Maine, as well as Leeanna Wilbur. Thanks to Brent Quimby who supplied nets and Patty Ellis who donated buckets for catching the amphibians on site. Thanks to Kari Silloway, Cedric Nieser, Michael Holoszyc, Audrey

Sutherland and Linda and Geoffrey Boyd who judged and assisted the contest, with Audrey and Linda also serving as skillful frog retrievers. Thanks go to Fred Dubay and his assistant, Lily Stevens, age 9, for serving as official photographers.

Thanks also to all the participants and to those who donated to the Blueberry Festival’s non-academic support for Rangeley Lakes Regional School. It was a day for kids (and adults) to unplug and for frogs (no toads this year) to show off their best leaps. When everyone jumps on the bandwagon, the Frog Jumping Contest is “bound” to be a success.

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