Everyone is in place, waiting. Money and honor are on the line. The gate comes up. Bang! They're off!
They are crabs; Chesapeake blue crabs to be specific. A crab race? Really? Yes.
In 1947, the town of Crisfield decided to host a hard crab race outside of their post office as part of a summer Fishing Fair, highlighting their seafood bounty. In Maryland, summer is synonymous with eating blue crabs out on a deck by the water, and Crisfield, located on Eastern Shore between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, is a town that revolves around watermen and fishing culture.
I came across these great clips from WMAR-TV's coverage of the 6th annual crab race via the University of Baltimore's archives, which got me to look into the history of the event a little more.
"These beautiful blue-green crustaceans grow in the Chesapeake Bay and are just as moody as a mule. Sometimes they go and sometimes they don't..." -- The Star Democrat, July 28, 1950.
The best part? The Crab Derby still happens every year, with bleachers full of people cheering the little crustaceans on!
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