Rosie and her jockey's star can be found at the base of the steps to the Calaveras Visitors Bureau on Main Street, a must-stop for visitors. While here, make sure to pick up a free copy of the "Walking Tour and Driving Map" of Angels Camp.
At the bureau's office, visitors can purchase pins, patches and shot glasses with frogs on them. Also of note is a "frogumentary" DVD called "Jump," which describes the history of the Jumping Frog Jubilee and the passion of modern-day frog jockeys. The film has won awards at film festivals throughout the country.
A quick drive north on California 49, which doubles as Main Street, is the Angels Camp Museum. It features a large collection of wagons, mining equipment and Gold Rush artifacts, as well as 3 acres of tree-shaded picnic grounds on the site of the original Angels Quartz Mine.
The museum is now featuring a new exhibit on the life of Mark Twain. In the Mark Twain Frog Room, the film "Jump" is shown alongside vintage photos of some of the first frog-jumping competitions.
There's debate over which brother the town was named for, Henry or George Angel. Most tend to favor Henry, a shopkeeper from Rhode Island who moved to town in 1848.
The first Frog Jump competition was held in 1928 to celebrate the paving of Main Street. Every year since, except 1933 in the depths of the Great Depression, the event has taken place.
Nearly 50,000 people attended last year's fair. Not bad for a town with a population of fewer than 3,500.
After jumping frogs and riding the Ferris wheel, those not in the mood to eat corn dogs and deep-fried Twinkies can head into town.
Eating in Angels Camp varies from fast-food and diner-style restaurants to more upscale places such as Crusco's Ristorante and Camps Restaurant at nearby Greenhorn Creek Resort, where there's an 18-hole golf course.
For something different, stop by the sushi bar at Angels Food Market (in the Mark Twain Shopping Center, of course) and take your lunch a short drive down the highway to Utica Park.
The park — named after the Utica Mine, which set national production records in the 1890s by producing more than $4 million in gold in 30 months — has a picnic area, pavilion, playground and bathrooms.
At one time, Utica Park held a large frog pond, but water seeped into the mining tunnels underneath, causing both water and frogs to disappear.
At the entrance to the park is a statue in memory of Mark Twain. It was donated to Angels Camp in 1945 by a motion picture company that had filmed "The Adventures of Mark Twain" starring Fredric March.
Yet another connection to that other "City of Angels."
Calaveras County: Still hopping to it
Twain's 'Jumping Frog' legend continues to draw thousands to watch amphibians take a leap, and to enjoy a deep-fried Twinkie or two.
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