Thursday, June 16, 2016

Frog Jumping and Ugly Ties: An Adirondack Father’s Day

2008615 Frogs #17My children have always embraced the nontraditional when it comes to gift giving. There have not been a lot of crazy ties or Old Spice that has crossed our door in anticipation of Father’s Day. Instead, my husband has endured his fair share of incompatible food tastings and inedible breakfast sandwiches. Like most fathers, he doesn’t really care what comes on the plate as long as he can spend time with his family.

According to the Town of Webb Publicity Director Mike Farmer, the Old Forge Frog Jumping and Ugly Tie Contest is about as nontraditional as one can get. For the past 44 years Old Forge has been the gathering spot for longest jumping frogs in the area. This event pits frog against frog in a series of categories like size, speed and longest jump.

“All frogs are safe and welcome here for Father’s Day,” says Farmer. “We make sure that the frogs have plenty of water and that they are released back into the wild. Annually over 30 frogs compete at the Old Forge Lakefront starting Sunday at noon. We run three heats of eight frogs each.”

Farmer says there is always something that surprises him during the event. One year a young girl came with a frog so tiny that a magnifying glass was needed to see it. The Ugly Tie Contest has also been embraced by fathers near and far.

“There are no set rules for the tie contest,” says Farmer. “The audience gets to pick the ugliest tie out of this Father’s Day fashion show. In the past it is usually the shocking, the repugnant and the outrageous that wins the prize.”

There are other activities happening around Old Forge this Father’s Day weekend in case the frog jumping doesn’t go the distance.

Friday and Saturday, June 18 and 19 is the Father’s Day Weekend Car Show. With over 20 classes in three categories, the show kicks off with a Friday evening parade that will showcase everything from those original 1900s vehicles to the flashier modern cars. The parade will start on Main Street and end up at the Hiltebrant Recreation Center Field on North Street. Saturday’s main attraction is the Car Show and Auto Swap from 9 am – 3 pm. The cars will be judged and the winners will receive cash prizes. Refreshments will be available for purchase.

“The Car Show is just a windup to the Frog Jumping Contest,” says Farmer. “It’s a fun tradition that people will want to come see.”

So if your children are looking to surprise their father, nothing quite says Father’s Day like a Frog Jumping Contest with an Ugly Tie Fashion Show. Enjoy!

photo of the Father’s Day Frog Jumping Contest used with the permission of the Town of Webb Visitors Information Center.

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Diane Chase

Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.

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