Thermoforming Report

Frog Jumping Jubilee

Every third weekend in May, the county of Calaveras Fairground in Angels Camp, California is HOPPING with ten of thousands of visitors and competitors. Everyone there – whether human or amphibian – is excited to be a part of the annual Frog Jumping Jubilee and to celebrate Mark Twain’s humorous short story “The Celebrate Jumping Frog of Calaveras County“.

According to the Calaveras Visitor Bureau, this beloved frog jumping competition has been a cherished tradition since 1928, when the small-town county fair became something different altogether! A ‘no-name, down-on-his-luck’ 29-year-old Mark Twain – then still known as Samuel Clemens – decided to try his luck at finding gold in California’s gold country. “Living in the depths of poverty with nothing to do but swap stories with locals”, Clemens overheard an absurd story that involved a double-dealing deceptive wager, a colorful narrator, and a frog — and the rest is history!

While he may not have found much that glittered, he certainly struck literary gold!

Twain put his own storytelling genius flavor on the story – with colorful characters and hilarious glimpses of life as a Gold Rush scoundrel. The published story “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” was an instant success, Twain was suddenly an overnight sensation, and the County Fair added its own Jumping Frog Jubilee to its annual festivities.

In 1928, the first official commemorative Frog Jump Competition was held in Angels Camp, California – the setting of Twain’s story. Today the annual event is attended by up to 50,000 people — and thousands of frogs! Winners each year get a $5000 cash prize and a trophy – plus their name is embedded on the Frog Hop of Fame in downtown Angels Camp. How far can frogs really jump? In 1986, “Rosie the Ribeter” set the world record at 21 feet, 5-3/4 inches! According to, the cash prize for breaking this record is $20,000!

Curious to read the story for yourself? You’ll find it at the bottom of, or you can listen to the audiobook – with unique character voices – on VOA: American Stories.

{Shout-out to our photo-genius daughter, our energetic dog, and our “get-the-dog-to-run-and-jump” son!}

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