Calaveras County

Parade kicks off jumping frog weekend

By Maggie Beck, The Union Democrat

For a full schedule, go online to

Angels Camp was decked out Thursday with old clothes hanging from wires high above Main Street for the Soroptimist Youth Parade, the traditional start to the Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee.

On a day picture perfect for a children’s parade, the old clothes harkened back to the old days of the Wild West and air drying.

U.S. flags adorned every post and storefront. Several hundred people lined both sides of Main Street from Utica Park to Angels Creek.

Anticipation built as 10 a.m. neared and traffic was still traveling up and down Main Street. Finally the Street was empty of moving cars and the parade begun.

There were dancers, floats, children on horseback. The crowd applauded and cheered.

Some parade participants handed out candy and were warned of the new California law prohibiting tossing candy from floats.

Smokey Bear was there as was the Jumping Frog Mascot.

A family entered the parade with a surf and under the ocean theme.

The Calaveras County Sheriff Department Bike Team rode in the parade as well.

The Calaveras County Fair dates to 1893 in Copperopolis. Eventually it was moved to Angels Camp and the county fairgrounds on Highway 49 and brings in more than $5.5 million in revenue to the county.

The junior livestock auction means about $400,000 to local youth, who raise pigs, cows and other farm animals.

The signature event — the frog jump — brings in more than 35,000 people to watch each year. The International Frog Jump final will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday.

The event includes carnival rides, food, and hundreds of exhibits. The fair began Thursday and continues through Sunday. Among the Thursday evening events was the Miss Calaveras contest.

Ned LeDoux will perform at 8 p.m. Friday on the Main Stage, Stereo Chicken on the Lawn Stage at 8 p.m. Saturday and Dye Musica on the Lawn Stage at 8 p.m. Sunday. The Frogtown Stampede begins at 8 a.m. in the arena.

The Union Democrat
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