Possibly the world's longest tug-of-war match over water will be held Saturday between residents of Eastport and Annapolis, continuing a 16-year rivalry.
The 16th annual "Slaughter Across the Water" kicks off at the "crack o' noon" Saturday between the Maritime Republic of Eastport (MRE) and Annapolis.
Since 1998, the rivalry between districts has been settled by a tug-of-war. A rope will be stretched across Spa Creek from from Second Street and Severn Avenue to Susan B. Campbell Park on City Dock, and rain or shine, dozens of teams will participate in the pull.
The rivalry is said to have started on Super Bowl Sunday in 1998, when the residents of Eastport felt excluded from the city while the Compromise Street bridge was closed for repairs.
This year's war was declared at the Oct. 14 Annapolis City Council meeting, when members of the MRE stormed the council chambers waving flags and chanting "21403! We are the MRE!."
Annapolis Mayor Josh Cohen, once a resident of Eastport, was among the first members of the MRE when it was founded. The Baltimore Sun reported that the MRE reminded him of that with jeers of "traitor" from the crowd at the council meeting.
In response, Cohen had the trophy from years past brought in, saying: "We let this speak for itself," drawing boos from the audience.