Under the glare of the hot sun on the Capitol lawn, legislators lined up to kiss and jump Calaveras County’s most prized amphibians Wednesday.
More than 40 lawmakers, Capitol employees and their family members took turns startling bullfrogs, dubbed “Snoop Frogg,” “Tastes Like Chicken” and other creative monikers, into a series of three consecutive jumps to kick off the annual Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee, which begins Thursday.
“We have a record amount of contestants this year and I look forward to a lively competition,” said Sen. Tom Berryhill, R-Twain Harte, who organizes the event. Berryhill addressed a crowd of a couple dozen onlookers, some waving signs supporting their favorite 4-legged friend, “Froggie McFly.”
“This is a way to showcase Calaveras County and the frog-jumping capital of the world, so I enjoy doing it,” said Assemblyman Frank Bigelow, R-O’Neals, who also represents the district.
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This year marks the 30th anniversary of Lee Giudici and Rosie the Ribiter’s world record jump of 21 feet and 5.75 inches at the fair. While he didn’t come close to knocking off the longtime champions, Assemblyman James Gallagher, R-Plumas Lake, and ‘Petey’ took home the top prize with a 12-foot, 1-inch jump.
And like anything else at the Capitol, the event couldn’t be complete without some partisan squabbling. Assemblymen Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove, attempted to persuade judges to give him a couple extra feet, prompting Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, to remind him “you can’t cheat in frog jump.”