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Froggy friends take 1st place at 2023 Firecracker Fest
matthew bowley
Matthew Bowley and his amphibian friend hold the first place trophy in the age 10 and under division of the frog jumping contest held Saturday during the annual Firecracker Fest at Mill Creek Park. Bowley said he caught the frog that morning with his father and they hadn't named it yet. "I guess we're going to have to keep the frog now," Bowley said. Bulloch County and area residents enjoyed the 247th Fourth of July birthday celebration for the United States with inflatables, live music, food vendors, kids' activities and the traditional frog jumping contest and ended with a huge fireworks display. (Photos by JASON MARTIN/Special to the Herald)

The annual Firecracker Fest, held last Saturday, was a night of family-friendly fun for all, featuring food, fun and, ending the night, fireworks.

One of the biggest traditions of the night each year is the frog jumping contest, and winning in the 11 and above category was Briley Williams, with a tree frog that jumped 17 feet and 3 inches. Willliams also took first place with her bullfrog and toad, with jumps jumps of 62 feet, 8 inches, and 30 feet, 6 inches, respectively.

Taking second place was Lindsey Lovett and her tree frog, which jumped 6 feet. Ben Pryor and his toad, which jumped 20 feet, 3 inches, took second place, while Trenten Whitlock and his toad, which jumped 18 feet, 8 inches, took third. 

In the 10 and under category, Turner McCormick's tree frog took first place with a jump of 14 feet. Natalie Holloway came in second with her tree frog's jump of 12 feet, 4 inches, and Lawson McCormick and his tree frog took third, with a jump of 9 feet, 6 inches.

In the bullfrog division,  Natalie Holloway won first place with a bullfrog that jumped 36 feet, 3 inches. Emma Johnson's frog won second place with a jump of 31 feet, and Madison Johnson's bullfrog took third with a jump of 1 foot.

In the toad division, Matthew Bowley and his toad took first place with a jump of 36 feet, 3 inches. Azen Boan got third with a toad jumping 28 feet, 5 inches, while Natalie Holloway's toad jumped for third place with a jump of 24 inches, 1 foot. 

Overall winners were Shawn Diddie with smallest frog, Briley Williams with the biggest frog, and Arden Lovett with the most unique frog. 

Amanda Scarboro
Amanda Scarboro puts the final touches on an American flag covering the forehead of Jake Sheffield at Saturday's Firecracker Fest.
Harvey Bonn
Brandi Harvey, left, and Micah Bonn, right, entertain festival-goers with some bluegrass music.
watery fun
A couple of young folks take advantage of a watery inflatable to cool off during the festival.
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