WILLISTON, Vt. (WCAX) - On your marks, get set, release the frogs!
It was barely-controlled chaos in Williston Wednesday afternoon as dozens of young Vermonters gathered for the annual leapfrog contest.
It's a Fourth of July town tradition that has been going on for about 25 years, and founder Bill Skiff Sr. says he wanted to give kids a chance to do something fun like he did when he was a kid growing up on the farm.
"Doesn't cost anything, all you need is a frog, some grass, and a piece of string and you've got a nice little event," Skiff said.
Four by four, kids gather in the center of the court and turn their frogs loose. The first frog to make it to the edge wins. Some frogs head straight for the finish line, while others stubbornly stay put.
Kids could bring or borrow frogs, but the challenge wasn't getting them here, it was keeping them together in time for the race. But some young frog racing experts say the more the amphibian wants to escape, the better. And everyone gets a ribbon because in the end, organizers say it's all about one thing: having fun.
"We had a little girl one time who had a little tiny frog, and she wasn't much bigger than the frog, and she won, and her eyes were literally glowing when she got her first-place ribbon," Skiff said.
And don't forget about the frog.
"You want him to have a good time, too, because that's what the frog jumping is all about," Skiff said.
Seventy-four kids raced frogs this year and organizers say they're planning on continuing the tradition again next year, as well.