Los Angeles has its Hollywood Walk of Fame, and Angels Camp has the Frog Hop of Fame. In our mind, it’s at least as important. Consider that international frog jumping contests have been taking place in Angels Camp every year since 1928 (except for one year during WWII) and that each year’s winning frog and frog wrangler/jumper are forever immortalized in brass in our historic sidewalks. We might take frog jumping a little more seriously than most, but can you blame us? Samuel Clemens made his name as Mark Twain when he wrote his first international best-selling short story, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras”. You might say it put Calaveras County on the map (we certainly do).
Mark Twain’s stay here in Angels Camp, and the tall tale he overheard in the Angels Hotel’s saloon in 1865 inspired the story that helped Mark Twain find his voice. And we’re darn proud of it. Fast forward to 1928 and the paving of the city’s streets. At this seminal moment in its history, Angels Camp was inspired to celebrate with its first, annual, international frog jumping contest to mark the auspicious occasion.
This annual tradition has continued through the years, and is now marked by these stylish brass plaques bearing the following information:
- The year of the win
- The winning frog’s name
- The length of the winning jump (3 consecutive jumps in one row)
- The frog jumper’s name and city of origin
The Frog Hop of Fame is not only a fun attraction, it’s a glimpse through history into the tradition of frog naming and it’s a demonstration of family dedication to the contest. There are multiple wins by several families over the years, there are crazy and creative frog names, and there are impressive jumps. There is also one plaque with a peculiar jump length in honor of the frog from the famous story. We will let you discover its unique attribute and location.
You’ll probably be glad to know that we don’t take this attraction in at night for protection, but keep it firmly ensconced in the cement sidewalk for your 24-hour per day, 7-day per week, 365-1/4-day per year enjoyment.
Read about the Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee, which takes place annually, on the third weekend of May. Join us. Here’s your opportunity to be similarly immortalized in brass. Now you know about this, it’s probably one of your life goals. And we’re here to help. If you don’t have your own frog, we’d be happy to rent you one of ours from the Frog Spa. You know you want to.
Looking to learn more about the Fair or our California Mark Twain connection? Enjoy this guide round-up below.
- Explore the Mark Twain California Connection Experience the little known story of how Mark Twain found his voice in Angels Camp, CA
- Guide to the Fair: Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee – Annually Third Weekend in May
- Guide to the Mark Twain Wild West Fest: Mark Twain Wild West Fest – Annually Third Saturday in October
- Explore Angels Camp History: At the Angels Camp Museum and Carriage House
- Get Silly with a fun historic downtown Angels Camp Scavenger Hunt