RACINE — Chicken and ice cream, fire trucks and tractors, frog jumping and patriotic pets, the annual Racine 4th of July celebration featured fun and activities for those of all ages.
The morning began with the annual parade through town, with more than a dozen first responder vehicles, the Southern Marching Band and American Legion Post 602 taking part, as well as floats and entries from several churches and sports teams, joined by tractors, ATVs and UTVs, and much more.
As is tradition, the parade began at the Southern Local School District campus, before pausing at Home National Bank for the flag raising ceremony and the playing of the National Anthem. The parade then continued on through town.
As the parade concluded the line formed at the Racine Fire Station to purchase the always popular chicken and ice cream prepared by the Racine Volunteer Fire Department.
The crowds returned to Racine later in the evening for the Frog Jump contest, as well as a flag hunt (similar to an egg hunt, but with small flags) and the patriotic pet contest held at Star Mill Park. Music for the evening was provided by K & D DJ Service, Kip Grueser DJ.
The Frog Jump Contest was divided into three age groups with the top three in each group receiving prizes. Participants could bring their own frog(s) or rent a frog. Rental frogs were supplied by Chris Wolfe (Wolfie).
The goal in the Frog Jump Contest is to make your frog jump the furthest in it’s first three jumps. Participants may try several ways to make the frog jump, but is not permitted to touch it.
In the 18 and older category, Jerry Wolfe was first with frog Purple Demon (12 feet, 5 1/2 inches), J.F. Young was second with his frog Donald Trump (12 feet, 2 inches), and Shawn Stobart was third with his frog Croaker (11 feet, 8 inches).
In the 13-17 category, Hunter Jarrell was first with his frog Billy (11 feet, 1 1/2 inches), Eean Bailey was second with his frog Junior (9 feet, 9 1/2 inches), and Eean Bailey was third with his frog Luke (9 feet).
In the 12 and younger category, Peyton Milliron was first with his frog Rocket (12 feet, 5 inches), Gavin Proffitt was second with his frog Mr. Jumper (10 feet, 3 1/2 inches), and Eli Bailey was third with his frog TreeFee (9 feet, 6 1/2 inches).
Sponsors and supporters of the events at the park included RACO, Chad & Katie’s Produce Stand, Home National Bank, Hill’s Sunoco, Wolfie (Chris Wolfe), K & D DJ Service, M & J Grilling, Rich Hayes with Kona Ice, Unleashed Kennel and Spa, Tom and Ashli Peterman and Joe Dillon.
The evening was scheduled to conclude with fireworks at Star Mill Park presented by the Racine Volunteer Fire Department.
Additional photos from the Frog Jump Contest will appear in the Sunday Times-Sentinel. Additional coverage of the Independence Day celebrations in Meigs County, including those in Middleport and Rutland, can be seen in upcoming editions of the Sunday Times-Sentinel and The Daily Sentinel.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.