Dublin Villager

Kiwanis Frog Jump hops into Coffman Park June 28

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Children can hop into an old-fashioned competition June 28.

The Dublin Kiwanis Club will hold its annual Frog Jump Contest in Coffman Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 28.

The longtime Dublin event is expecting a couple thousand children ages 13 and younger to get into the amphibian competition.

"We have anywhere from 1,000 to a couple thousand come," said Clay Rose, Dublin Kiwanis member and event organizer.

"We normally try to have a stable of 500 frogs."

The frogs are caught locally each year and released back into the ecosystem once the competition is complete.

"We have a few members that are very intense frog hunters," Rose said.

"They only go out three or four days before the frog jump and stay out half the night getting frogs together."

With a yield of 125 to 150 frogs each night, the hunters catch plenty of amphibian athletes.

"They're wired that way and they love doing it," Rose said of the frog-hunters. "I'm too old for that."

For the contest, frogs are paired with children in three different brackets: age 6 and younger for noncompetitive play, age 8 and younger and age 13 and younger.

"In the non-competitive (bracket) it's 'here's what frog jumping is all about' and parents are allowed in the rings with them," Rose said.

For competitive play, however, children 13 and younger will compete in two age brackets with the hopes of winning three rounds in a row.

"Three wins in a row qualifies you for finals in the afternoon," Rose said.

"One out of 64 gets into the finals."

Losing once doesn't disqualify children from a chance at the finals.

After a loss, children are welcome to start over again for a chance to be one of the elite 20 that end up in finals in each age bracket.

A $1 ticket buys a child's entry into a race and proceeds from the event will benefit the Dublin Food Pantry, the Kiwanis' Key Club scholarships and KidSMILES Pediatric Dental Clinic, a nonprofit that offers low-cost dental care to children at its Bethel Road office.

Rose said the club is hoping to snag $3,000 for each group.

Tickets at the frog jump will also buy a child's way onto inflatable amusements, Rose said.

"We've got some inflatable rides from Super Games, sack races and hippity-hops," he said.

"We'll have food vendors and KidSMILES Pediatric Dental Clinic will have a booth with information. People can find out if they qualify."

But the day will mostly be about children and their amphibian athletes.

"We'll have 2,500 entrants or there-abouts," Rose said.

"Some of the kids try and try and try until they get there. It's fun to watch and pretty low key."

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