The threat of rain didn't dampen the excitement surrounding this year's version of the Capitol Frog Jump - the 44th annual event promoting the famous Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee.
Assemblyman Frank Bigelow hosted Wednesday's festivities - his colorful commentary pleasing to Republicans and Democrats alike.
Assemblyman Matthew Harper tried his best to get "Surfer Joe" to jump.
“I decided to whoop it up,” Harper exclaimed. "I tried to be as loud as I could to coerce the frog into jumping as far as possible. But it didn’t work out.”
Jeovana Sanchez Gonzalez from Assemblyman Tony Thurmond's office had better luck - having done her research.
“I saw that people were getting on their knees and blowing on the frogs,” Sanchez Gonzalez explained. “I told my co-worker, if you want me to do this, get me some knee pads… and she did! I got on the ground and just blew on the frog. It worked out great.”
“Toady Thurmond” jumped 8 feet for a second place finish behind Lea Park-Kim. Senator Joel Anderson's staffer and her frog, “Mr. Jeremy Fisher” won this year's version of the Capitol Frog Jump by half an inch.
“I think the pep talk was the secret,” said Park-Kim. “I really encouraged our Mr. Jeremy Fisher that I believed in him and that he could fly if he wanted to! He just went off his way!”
Park-Kim and “Mr. Jeremy Fisher” are now qualified for the World Championship Jump - which will be held Sunday during the 90th edition of the Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee.
In the media division, KFBK’s “Christopher Ribbit” apparently wasn’t fond of this year’s earlier start time. While the five-time champion did leap a full six feet (not bad for the conditions); he came in second. We tip our cap to Taylor Maurits of the Capitol Morning Report. Her frog “Get a Jump on the News” ended Christopher Ribbit’s run of three consecutive wins.
“Your reign of terror at the Capitol is over,” Maurits jokingly told Ribbit’s jockey, reporter Joe Michaels, after the event.
“Not OVER,” replied Michaels. “Just on hiatus.”
Like former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, “I’ll be back.”