May Tradition: Jumping Frog Jubilee | NBC Bay Area
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May Tradition: Jumping Frog Jubilee

The Calaveras County Maytime tradition has strong ties to the past.

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    May Tradition: Jumping Frog Jubilee
    Jumping Frog Jubilee
    Gladys Dillashaw and a froggy friend pose for a snapshot at the Jumping Frog Jubilee. It's been a Calaveras County tradition since the 1800s.

    MAY IS A MERRY MONTH, many say, and many have it right, for the spirit feels lighter, the days seem brighter, and everything that can bloom seems to be blooming all at once. But the blossoming, petal-beautiful stars of May aren't the only nature-found wonders of the month. No, we're not talking about the flying fish of Catalina Island, though their season does rev up just ahead of June. Rather, we're thinking of another fairly small critter who can also seemingly take flight, though not from the ocean but, rather, solid ground. It's the famous frogs of Calaveras County we speak of, and the storied leapers will once again be reaching for the clouds, or at least crossing a good amount of distance just above the surface of the earth, at the long-running, oh-so-venerable, Mark-Twain-related...

    JUMPING FROG JUBILEE: If you're thinking back to when you last read Mr. Twain's "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," well, we'll give you time to ponder, because that's a story with (hoppy) legs around the region. So much so that the decades-old Jubilee — it'll mark its centennial in 2028 — gets its own multi-day party every May. The 2017 frog-centered festivities run from May 18 through 21, and, if you time it right, you may see a small amphibian sail for over 20 feet. Does that deserve an exclamation point? Surely: Over 20 feet! But the jubilee isn't the only thing a-jumpin' in Angels Camp. The Calaveras County Fair is also happening during that same date spread, meaning you can ride a carnival ride, eat a sweet treat, and cheer on the froggies. As for the Jumping Frog Jubilee schedule? There's action every day, both fun and competitive, but the finals are on Sunday, May 21. Oh, and should you visit The Frog Spa while there? Probably, right?