Say froggy and they jump
Central Park was hopping Saturday. The 23rd annual Dr. Charles Ford Frog Race attracted a large crowd and well more than 100 contestants.
Doyce Hiscocks of the Exchange Club said it's a good time that brings many children and seniors back year after year.
"It's just been a lot of fun to do," he said. "I know one young man, he's probably had the same frog for eight years."
The Anderson family, along with family friends, brought about 50 frogs to this years races. Contestants without frogs can rent one.
"We've been helping them out for about 20 years," Jim Anderson said. They roped me into it."
Hiscocks said a straight-line course was tried during the early years of the event.
"The frogs refused to cooperate," he said with a laugh.
Contestants now stand in a center ring. When the race begins, the first frog to cross the outer ring is the winner. Because there are about 150 entrants each year, including many in each age group, heats are held, with the top three of each one advancing to the finals. For instance, there were 26 entries this year in the 7-. 8-. and 9-year-old category.
Children compete for cash prizes, while seniors battle it out for a frog clock and bragging rights.
Hiscocks said there have been entrants from as many as five states.
"We bring great family fun for people visiting the area on the Fourth of July," he said.
As for the frogs, there's no reason to worry about their fate. Both Hiscocks and Anderson said the leaping amphibians are released back into the farm ponds from where they are captured.
"We don't have frog legs for supper," Anderson chuckled.