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It’s a beautiful Labor Day weekend on the U.S. East Coast. Many are getting in a last beach day, round of golf or barbecue befoe the unofficial end of Summer on Monday.

On Maryland’s Eastern Shore the end of season traffic from beach back to Washington and Baltimore dominates many conversations. However, for other more patient soels there is a site to behold along the way – the National Hard Crab Derby and Fair taking place in Crisfield.

This year marks the 68 th annual edition of the event which has become a Labor Day weekend tradition in the region.

The unique crab themed festival features crab races, crab cooking and picking contests, carnival rides, arts and crafts, vendors, live entertainment, beauty pageants, a parade, fireworks and more.

The festival begins Thursday evening with a carnival, runs through the weekend and ends Sunday night with a Gospel concert and fireworks. Many events are free. There is a $3 admission fee on Saturday and additional fees apply for the Saturday night concert and some of the other events.

The highlight of the race is The Governor’s Cup Race, named for Crisfield’s native son, Governor J. Millard Tawes, who served as Maryland’s Governor from 1959 to 1967.

Crisfield, with a population of about 2,700, has long been associated with the Blue crab. Self proclaimed as the “Crab Capital of the World,” the city has the crab symbol emblazoned on its water towers, street signs, newspaper, town website and even on the Crisfield Police patch (along with a fish and oyster). For more than 300 years, Crisfield has been a waterman’s town and the Blue crab a symbol of prosperity. Even today, the city’s dependence on the Bay’s bounty is evident in the waterfront seafood processing plants, seafood distributors, seafood restaurants and work boats that leave Crisfield harbor six days a week.

 

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