On Saturday, November 7, beginning at the “crack of noon” the 18th annual Tug Of War between the City of Annapolis and the renegade “Maritime Republic of Eastport” (MRE) will begin.
You may wonder how close neighbors in this historic city came to throws mandating an annual Tug of War to establish bragging rites for the next year. Well, way back in the winter of 1997 the city of Annapolis closed the Spa Creek Bridge for several months to do repairs. During that time the ease of moving between the Historic District side of the bridge to the Eastport side was impeded. Folks in Eastport felt cut off from the city and decided to secede from the city and established the “Maritime Republic of Eastport”.
After the bridge reopened all seemed well and back to normal. But, every year since, on the first weekend of November the MRE have symbolically declared war on Annapolis and the Tug(s) of War have ensued. There are usually 6 – 10 different tugs that go on during the afternoon and the majority winning side gets the bragging rites for the next year. Along with the tugs you will find music, food, entertainment, dancing and general merriment happening on both sides of the bridge from 12 noon – 5 PM.
This unique Annapolis event is the longest Tug of War over water in the World. It is held over the waters of Spa Creek. Men and women from local merchants, banks, USNA, St. John’s College, other schools, churches, etc make up the teams. All money raised by the event is donated to local charities and thus far over $500,000.00 has been donated since the first tug 18 years ago.
During the afternoon festivities, on the Eastport side of the bridge, there will be a Chili Cook off so be sure to get over there, sample and vote for your favorite.