History & Tourism

Summer Road Trips: Visit The Frog Jump Capital Of Ohio

10 Jul , 2022  

By 1812Blockhouse

This year we’re continuing our weekly look at unique events and attractions that are within an easy driving distance of Richland County. For the first time in two years, we’re sharing events taking place in-person, although by all means please all ahead and verify what social distancing, masking, etc.

Of course, we regularly feature the many extraordinary places to visit right here in Richland County and encourage our readers to get out and experience what is on offer in our own backyard.

For more than 50 years, Valley City, a hamlet in northwest Medina County, has gone green and brown each summer

The reason? Frogs take to the ring to test their leaping abilities in a rather peculiar festival, the Valley City Frog Jump. Thousands of onlookers gather to watch local “frog-natics” and their amphibious competitors to enjoy the very old-fashioned fun.

Valley City is known for being “The Frog Jump Capital of Ohio.” Since 1962, the annual contest, patterned after Mark Twain’s story, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” has been held in Mill Stream Park.  On April 2, 1964, two years after the first contest was held, Governor Jim Rhodes proclaimed this contest the official state frog jumping championship.

In 1969, a few Valley City champion frogs competed in the larger contest in Calaveras County, California, including one belonging to Governor Rhodes.

More than 700 frogs will be entered into this year’s contest by toddlers, retirees and everyone in-between. Trophies are awarded to the winners. Food, beverage and souvenirs are available as well as music and games. Valley City is approximately one hour’s drive from Richland County.

Admission and parking are free, although there is a cost involved to jump a frog.

Source: Wikipedia: Image by Lisa Surette from Pixabay

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