Dublin Kiwanis Annual Frog Jump Festival

20.) Dublin Kiwanis Annual Frog Jump Festival – June 26, 2010

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After leaving Powell, I made my way to the Dublin Kiwanis Annual Frog Jump Festival in Dublin’s Coffman Park.

Now this wasn’t my first frog jumping festival. Last year, I attended the Valley City Frog Jump Festival, a festival with hundreds of attendees who came to race their own frogs and others who decided to rent frogs available for the race. One by one, in front of all the spectators, each person tried to make his frog jump for the longest 3-jump distance. The winner of each round, or flight, advanced to the next level until a main winner was selected.

I wasn’t sure how Dublin’s frog jumping festival was set up, but two things did intrigue me…

  1. This was their oldest event.
  2. On their website, they advertise “More than 1,000 young ‘frog jockeys’ participate in several age divisions.”

Well, I misread this for “1,000 young frogs.” This, you may have guessed, led to some disappointment. It wasn’t the same spirit of Valley City’s festival, but it did have some interesting features.

Apart from your general festival stuff, like the…

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…inflatables (for more jumping)…

…minimal food selection (Dairy Queen and funnel cakes)…

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…frog-related info booths (with a price wheel)…

…and a dunking booth (which is a nice touch)…

…they had frog jumping challenges.

Here’s how it worked…
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After buying your $1 frog race ticket, you went to the tent of your age group, where races occurred in groups of four. When it was your turn for the next race, you handed in your ticket…

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…selected your frog from the tub…

…put it in the cup…

…and waited in the circle with the frog covered.

When instructed, you uncovered your frog and tried to convince him to jump out beyond a second circle. But there are two rules…

  1. Don’t touch him.
  2. Keep your knees in that inner circle.

Sometimes, even with the screaming and grass pounding, those frogs just don’t want to jump anymore. And, as the kids tried to get close to their frog, that second rule got the better of them. And they ended up looking like this…

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But, if one child was able to convince his frog to jump towards freedom, that frog would jump like crazy…
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…and make him a winner.

Unlike the Valley City festival, there were no further challenges or grand winners. But, being that it was more for kids, the competition wasn’t so much the point (and each race was only $1). The point was just to have fun and the kids did seem to have that.

Not to mention some bragging rights during the car ride home.

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