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TELEGRAPH HERALD (Dubuque, Iowa) 23 July 09 Frog-jumping event really hoppin - About 70 children and their captured amphibians participate. (Andrew Brunner)
For the past few weeks, children of the tri-state area have been on the hunt for frogs.
Every year, the Dubuque County Fair celebrates Kids Day with a variety of kid-focused activities. One of the most popular is the World Famous Frog Jump.
About 70 children brought their captured amphibians to this year's event. Some found them in the backyard or at the family farm. Other frogs were found near the Mississippi River or just on the side of the road. The children caged them in ice cream pails, de-icer buckets, aquariums and coolers.
On Wednesday, the frogs jumped ... and jumped ... and jumped.
The rules of the contest are simple. The kids put their frogs in the center of a large circle and see how far they make it in three jumps. Every child seemed to have a different strategy for getting his or her frog to jump the greatest distance. Some poked them in the back. Some just ran at them and screamed. Zach Freiburger gave his frog a friendly pat on the back.
Zach and his family traveled all the way from Minnesota to take part in the event. He and his brother, Max, always liked playing with toads, and when they heard about the frog jump in the newspaper, they were excited to take part. Their dad brought home a monster frog his friend found. His body was almost the size of a baseball. They named him, "Fat Albert."
Albert may have had the legs for the jump, but his weight might have been a little too much for him to leap to the top of the standings. He only jumped a few feet. But that didn't bother the Freiburger boys.
"It was fun," Zach said. "I like him cause he's fast and fat."
When the last frog had leapt across the pavement, 4-year-old Titus Begle, of Farley, Iowa, was declared the champion. His frog jumped 9 feet, a full foot farther than any other competitor.
As Titus picked up his trophy with a smiling frog on the top, he had a big smile on his face.
While 9 feet seems a great distance for a frog to leap in just three hops, Paul Coats, director of the Fair Association, said he has seen longer jumps.
"Several years ago, one jumped close to 30 feet," said Coats, who has helped organize and run the event for more than two decades. "Usually, the big ones aren't best, they are too lumbersome. The best are around 1 to 2 inches long."
TH - Local News Article
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