Dublin Villager

Dublin Kiwanis Club

Frog Jump festival to get hoppin' June 22

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

An amphibian invasion is coming to Dublin.

The city's longest running event, the Dublin Kiwanis Frog Jump, will get hopping at 10 a.m. June 22 at Coffman Park, 5200 Emerald Parkway.

Elimination rounds start at 10 a.m. for three different age groups, with the championship round set for 3 p.m.

"The noncompetition group is for (ages) 6 and younger," said Clay Rose, event chairman.

"It's about getting young kids in there to see how they handle racing frogs. We let mom and dad in there with them," Rose said.

Older kids are divided into two groups, ages 8 and younger, and ages 9-13, for elimination rounds.

"Four kids go into the ring," Rose said.

"The winner of that race goes into the next round and faces three other winners. The winner goes onto another," Rose said.

"If you make it through three in a row, you go to the finals at 3 p.m."

"Kids can go back and start over," Rose said. "They do it over and over again."

The Dublin Kiwanis Club is expecting 4,000 to 5,000 people over the day and has other activities to keep racers and their families occupied.

"We have sack races, hippity-hop balls, inflatable rides (and) a dunk tank," Rose said. "Dairy Queen and the folks that do funnel cakes and lemon shakes will be there."

Over the years, the Dublin Kiwanis Club has worked out a winning recipe for the Frog Jump, making it a tradition that sees few to no changes each year, Rose said.

"It's the novelty of the event," he said.

"It's something that's just a little different. It's family-friendly and they can stay as long or as short a time as they want to," he said.

"There are a variety of things they can do that's not a video game that are outside ... ."

The Dublin Kiwanis Club will go into this year's Frog Jump with the blessings of the Ohio Division of Wildlife.

Catching frogs was always done by the book and during frog-catching season, but Rose said the club decided to meet with the state agency anyway.

"We met with the Division of Wildlife to make sure they're OK with what we're doing," he said. "It's a very positive thing from our perspective to have their endorsement."

With the slimy racers jumping for free, the Dublin Kiwanis Club uses the event as a fundraiser.

"We do this to benefit three different things," Rose said.

"There's a scholarship fund we contribute part of the profits to every year," he said.

"There's a scholarship at each of the high schools for a member of the Key Club. Part of the profits also goes to the food pantry, where we do a lot of service as an organization."

The club also gives some proceeds to the Red Cross and anything left over goes into the general fund for other projects the club does throughout the year, Rose said.

And after the frogs are all jumped out, Rose said the club returns them home.

"At the end of the day, we keep frogs in their tanks to take them back to the ponds where we found them," he said.

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