May 19 – 22, 2016: Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee
The Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee is one of the longest running events in the State of California. Its earliest roots date back to 1893, held that year in Copperopolis, the fair eventually found a permanent home outside of Angels Camp. In the spirit of the old movie classic “State Fair,” the Calaveras County Fair is a blend of entertainment, exhibits, livestock, arena events, great food, live music and our signature event, the Frog Jump. This piece of Americana will have you Leaping to return year after year.
Located in the beautiful rolling foothills of California’s Gold Country just outside the quaint Gold Rush town of Angels Camp, this is a perfect small town fair that harkens back to a simpler era. Four days of fun-packed fair are eagerly anticipated by locals and visitors alike every year. Events kick off with a kiddie parade in downtown Angels Camp. Then it’s off to the fairgrounds to enjoy rodeo, and horse events, police dog demonstrations, the demolition derby and more in the arena, exhibits of local arts and crafts, local produce and souvenir items, and of course great rides. Be sure to bring a blanket or lawn chair and relax with friends and family to watch the events.
Today, few events illustrate the Gold Rush era as well as the Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee. Every May, the entire community celebrates its history and its future. The tradition of county residents showing off their best still holds true today. In 2002 the Calaveras County Fair had more than 7000 exhibits. The junior livestock auction generated over $350,000 for the county’s youth.
The Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee has grown to an event with more than 45,000 attendees. It is estimated that the Calaveras County Fair generates approximately 25.5 million dollars in revenues through hotels, restaurants, retail, payroll and other related revenues through out the community.
The Frog Jump
The Frog Jumping Competition begins on the first day of the Jumping Frog Jubilee, which is always a Thursday. Contestants can choose to jump for fun on our smaller Lily Pad stage or jump to qualify for the finals. Jumping continues on Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning. The International Frog Jump finals are held on Sunday afternoon. The top 50 jumps from four days of Fair (and some from other, sanctioned jumps) are entered into the Grand Finals. Contestants can bring their own frog, or use one of the local California bullfrogs collected and housed at the”Frog Spa” during the four days of Fair. The Frog Spa is open for tours daily. All frogs are treated with the utmost care and respect.
In 1933 the California Fish and Game Commission became involved in order to regulate and protect the welfare of the California bullfrog. In 1995 the Board of Directors of the 39th District Agricultural Association adopted the Frog Welfare Policy underscoring the Fairs commitment to treat the frogs in a humane manner.
Professional Frog Teams travel from all over the state to compete. Past champions get to camp at the beautiful Frog Pond at the fairgrounds. Those looking for some tips on how to jump are encouraged find one of Calaveras County’s frog teams. They are true professionals!
The Jumping Frog Jubilee is held on the 3rd weekend of every May. The Jubilee starts with a children’s parade in downtown Angels Camp and ends with a Destruction Derby on Sunday evening.
Frog Jump Winners
Besides local media attention and the recognition of frog jumping fans, winners each year can expect a handsome brass plaque commemorating their win embedded in historic downtown Angels Camp’s Frog Hop of Fame. The plaque is engraved with their name, the name of the frog they jumped, the year and the distance of their frog’s 3 jumps. In addition, winners receive $900 in cash and a trophy. For beating the world record, currently held by Lee Guidici whose frog Rosie the Ribiter, jumped 21-feet, 5-3/4 inches in 1986, owners win the World Record Holder title and $5,000 in cash.
- Read our blog on the Calaveras Frog Jump: National Frog Month Heralds Calaveras Frog Jump!
- Visit the official website for the Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee: Frogtown.org
- Read the Mark Twain story that inspired our Frog Jump: The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County
- Read the 2013 Calaveras Visitors Bureau travel writing scholarship winner Courtney Teicheira’s blog: What You Don’t Know About Calaveras’ Famous Frog Jump Weekend
- See a complete list of annual events in Calaveras County