Weekend has cowboys, a pow wow, trains -- and jumping frogs

May 13, 2013 

Chi-Tock-Non Kote-U-Pu is a festival of Native American heritage. Each spring the Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation celebrates in grand style. Through culture, dance and song, the festival is held in a drug-free, alcohol-free and smoke-free environment.

Also known as the Pow Wow of the Mariposa County Indian Council, the event will be held this weekend at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds. Gates open at 10 a.m. both days.

This year's Pow Wow princess will be crowned. Competition dancing includes tiny tots, juniors, teens and adults categories, and inter-tribal groups in colorful, elaborate costumes.

Money raised from the Pow Wow go to the Nellie Tucker scholarship, which helps Native American students. For more information or to see a schedule, check __lt__a href="http://www.visitmariposa.net/powwow" target="_blank"__gt__www.visitmariposa.net/powwow__lt__/a__gt__.

Mother Lode rodeo

The Mother Lode Round-Up's 56th year is in full swing. Presented by the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Posse, it's a tribute to the region's Western heritage, with the feel of a hometown reunion.

The parade will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday in downtown Sonora. The rodeo starts at 2 p.m. at Sonora's Mother Lode Fairgrounds. That evening the Chris Gardner Band will keep folks on the dance floor. It's a promising new group with loads of talent from Northern California.

Sunday is Wrangler Family Day, which opens with a Mother's Day breakfast held all morning at the fairgrounds. Cowboy Church with Coy Huffman is at 10 a.m. More rodeo fun will fill the afternoon hours. For details visit www.motherloderoundup. com.

National Train Dayis Saturday

It celebrates trains, locomotive travel and railroading across America.

There will be special exhibits and activities on Saturday, National Train Day, at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park in Jamestown. An entrance fee is required, and tickets for train rides may be purchased, but all other activities are free.

Train buffs will enjoy looking at historic locomotives such as No. 28 and No. 2. Classic vehicles on display include the 1920s Ford Model T, which was adapted for railroad use, and the Hetch Hetchy 19 railcar.

Railtown is the only steam-era roundhouse still intact and operational in California, and one of two in the nation.

Also at Railtown on Mother's Day, ride the "movie star locomotive," Sierra No. 3, through the foothills and relax with a picnic lunch on the shady lawn. For details visit __lt__a href="http://www.railtown1897.org" target="_blank"__gt__www.railtown1897.org__lt__/a__gt__ or call (209) 984-3953.

Jumping frogs

Take a chance, kiss a frog and watch what happens.

Since its start in 1893, the Calaveras Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee has earned international fame. Today it is held annually in Angels Camp, although it first took place in the historic town of Cooperopolis.

Currently this country fair boasts several thousand exhibits and raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for the county's youth through livestock auctions.

On May 16-19 a mix of exhibits, entertainment, livestock, arena events, food and the famed frog jump contest will provide family fun served up with old-fashioned hospitality. Admission is free on Thursday and Friday for children ages 12 and younger. Ages 5 and younger are admitted free of charge all four days.

Tickets and carnival wristbands may be purchased online. See __lt__a href="http://www.frogtown.org" target="_blank"__gt__www.frogtown.org__lt__/a__gt__ for more information.

Who knew that the International Frog Jump Competition was held in our own back yard?

Rosie the Ribeter set the world record in 1986 with a jump of 21 feet, 5¾ inches. Is there a frog alive who can beat her? Maybe a kiss for luck will inspire your amphibian to jump greater lengths.

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