Eastport Vs Annapolis Tug Of War Returns This Weekend In 'Slaughter Across The Water'


The Maritime Republic of Eastport will host its annual Eastport versus Annapolis tug of war this Saturday. The rope will be draped across Spa Creek, which is pictured above. (Jacob Baumgart/Patch)

ANNAPOLIS, MD — The annual Eastport vs. Annapolis tug of war returns this Saturday.

The music and registration start at 10 a.m. The tug begins at noon. There will also be food, drinks and a silent auction. The event wraps up at 5 p.m. The full music schedule is posted here.

Planners canceled the 2020 and 2021 tugs during COVID-19 spikes. The tug returned last year for the first time since 2019.

The contest pits Eastport and Annapolis against each other in a battle of strength deemed the "Slaughter Across The Water." Each neighborhood gathers on its side of Spa Creek and yanks at a 1,700-foot-long rope draped across the waterway. The Maritime Republic of Eastport called it the world's longest "international" tug over water.

Related: Maritime Republic Of Eastport Celebrates 25 Years Of Tradition

The tradition started in 1998 after officials temporarily closed the Spa Creek Bridge for maintenance. That crossing connects downtown Annapolis with the Eastport peninsula. Both neighborhoods are part of the City of Annapolis.

Eastport residents jokingly called the construction an "unprovoked act of aggression" and declared war, a tug of war that is, against their neighbors. Locals then formed the Maritime Republic of Eastport, also known as the MRE, to promote businesses on their side of the creek during the bridge project.

The MRE has raised more than $500,000 for local charities since its creation. The group has donated to organizations like Feed Anne Arundel, a nonprofit that pays restaurants to feed residents in need.

Though the MRE is kind-hearted, its members get serious leading up to the tug. The Eastport residents march to Annapolis City Hall before each tug to "declare war."

The MRE's other main event is The 0.05k Bridge Run. That race returned in spring 2022 for its first in-person run since 2019.

Visit themre.org to learn more about the group.

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