A Hoppin’ Good Time

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TURNERS, Mo — For over a decade, the owner of Turners Station station hosts a frog jumping contest.

Since 1889, The town of Turners has been synonymous with Jill Elsey-Stoner’s family. She is the 6th generation of family to own the Turners station.

For over the last decade, she has come up with her own tradition: The Frog Jumping Contest.

“I’m a Mark Twain Fan, and he wrote ‘The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County’. It’s something — when you’re out in the country — it’s our 130th year. We want things that people can do, bring their kids, its a family, fun, free event,” says Elsey-Stoner.

The race sees a variety of frogs that are split up into different heats, and the first frog to jump outside the ring wins.

Once all the frogs are checked in, they are placed in the center, and must hop their way to the finish line. That’s where the fun is.

“My favorite thing is watching the faces of the kids, adults, and grandparents. We have repeats, some people will come back year after year,” says Elsey-Stoner.

Mary Ellen Biebel made the trip from Boise, Idaho to watch her grand kids in the frog race.

“I’ve been watching it on the internet — watching my grand kids on the internet for three years. This is the fourth year, I jumped on a plane and came to see them this year,” says Biebel.

The winning racer gets a ribbon, and everyone gets ice cream afterwards, but the true prizes are the memories made.

“Another generation needs to be raised knowing that there are things to do outside,” says Elsey-Stoner.

Turners Station will celebrate its 130th anniversary in September this year.

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