February 22, 2024
Annapolis, US 44 F

MRE Tug Of War Details Announced

Annapolis versus Eastport in annual tug of war over Spa Creek

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The MRE will once again instigate the annual Tug of War competition on Saturday, November 6th, 2010. Time: Crack ‘O Noon until 5:00pm. This annual rite of fall will include seven tug competitions held across the Gulf of Eastport (a.k.a. Spa Creek). Tug teams made up of competing businesses, service organizations, and anyone else feeling the need to “tug it out” will vie for the much coveted bragging rights as Tug champions throughout the afternoon.  Concurrent with the action will be two Tugfests held on both ends of the competition- at Second Street and Severn Avenue on the Eastport side and at Susan B. Campbell Park (City Dock) on the Annapolis side. The Tugfest on the Annapolis side will include the sale of alcohol for the first time in the history of the event. The Tugfests, a combination of street vendors, children’s activities, musical performances and all around merry-making, start at 11:00am.  Admission to all MRE Tug of War events is free. ECruisers, The Water Taxis and Duffy Electric boats will be on hand to shuttle attendees between City Dock and Second Street throughout event day.

Volunteers are needed to help with tugging as well as a variety of other tasks such as registration, beer and wine sales, etc. Local Vendors are invited to contact the organizers about setting up booths at City Dock during the event.   Limited sponsorship opportunities are still available.

Eastport Tugfest details:


Local Rock Station WRNR 103.1FM will be on-site with booths on both sides of The Tug with radio personalities providing tug-by-tug commentary of the action along with prizes and giveaways.

Them Eastport Oyster Boys. Eastport’s own musical sons, Jefferson Holland and Kevin Brooks, provide a knee tapping, toe-slapping, comical musical history tour of Annapolis, Eastport and the Chesapeake through original songs and stories. No other musical group captures the flavor of past and present Annapolis like Them Eastport Oyster Boys. Through their songs and stories, you are taken back to the days of the skipjacks when life was slow and oysters and crabs were the centerpiece of life. And then, Kevin and Jefferson bring you back to today’s Land of Pleasant Living for a peek into the life of those who treasure this unique bit of America along the Chesapeake Bay.

Sweet Leda Bassist Jamie Horrigan, vocalist Julie Cymek, drummer Don Boyette and guitarist Omar ElDieahy combine to create an electrifying stage presence that has helped to make Sweet Leda one of the most exciting and accomplished acts in the Annapolis area.  Combining new school funk, soul and pop in a rich amalgam of heartfelt and original material that has drawn comparisons to Joss Stone and Maroon 5.  Sweet Leda has taken the local music scene by storm with its sexy smooth rock and groove.

D’Vibe and Conga A local well-known acoustic rock reggae and jazz band.

Kids Zone-Sponsored by Maryland Special Olympics and staffed by the Colonial Nursery school will include assorted children’s activities including two moon bounces and face-painting by Wendy Fisher- one of the most successful face and body artists in the Baltimore area. Because of her exceptional talent Wendy was invited to be a face painter in a month long world renowned child festival in China in 2007

Food and Drink

The Chili Appreciation Society International (CASI) is sponsoring a Chili Cook-off with an assist from the gourmands of What’s Up Annapolis Magazine. Featuring 15 Different Chilies, this will be an official CASI sanctioned competition.  Space is still available for local cooks to put their recipe and skills up against the “pros”. Tasting kits will be available to the public for sampling any or all 15 varieties and voting for the People’s Choice Best Chili.  (For information contact Rick Sievering  [email protected] )

It’s the Pits BBQ – featuring a menu of Beef Brisket, Pulled Pork, Sausage & Peppers, Hot Dogs, Turkey Wraps, Veggie Wraps, Fries, MD Crab Soup, Gumbo and beverages.

Oysters on The Half Shell will be provided by Ray Turner.

Buck Distributors will be providing a variety of craft beers on tap.

Travelin’ Taverns will be providing a full bar service- including wine and specialty coffee drinks and Oyster Shooters.

Old Dominion Root Beer

Pappa’s Kettle Korn

(For more information about Eastport Tugfest activities contact: Denise Mileski [email protected] )

City Dock Tugfest Details:


Mutts Gone Nuts – a troupe of 5 rescue dogs and 2 very talented humans. Scott Houghton and his mess of mischievous mutts present a comical blend of circus skills and dog feats suitable for the whole family.  Expect the unexpected at this comedy dog thrill show that will leave you howling for more.

Ben’s Bones –  Popular singer/songwriter Dan Haas and his band Ben’s Bones play their exciting brand of acoustic rock, which has become a favorite of the Annapolis music scene.  Haas has played with Bare Naked Ladies and Guster. The band has performed to sold out crowds at the Ram’s Head OnStage, the Ram’s Head Live in Baltimore, and IOTA, the popular original music venue in Arlington, VA.

Tribal Root Underground – Passing through genres of Rock, Reggae, Country, and R&B, the band brings a TRU jam band down to City Dock.  With vocals ranging from the deep and sultry sounds of Jim Morrison and Johnny Cash to the hi-pitches of Zeppelin and Radiohead, front man Brandt Dunn takes you traveling on a musical journey through time.

Dean Rosenthal – Since 1975 Dean Rosenthal has been entertaining audiences in the Mid-Atlantic with his appealing brand of American roots music. Whether singing, blowing harp, or playing his distinctive slide style on one of his classic guitars, Dean and his band are one of the most popular groups gracing the Annapolis music scene.

Crystalooney’s  Facepainters will also be on site to offer their face painting, henna and glitter tattoo creations to audience members of all ages.

JC Johns bring his wonderful balloon artistry to the Dock.

Food and Drink

The First Annual City Dock Crab cake Cook-off, sponsored by Stan and Joe’s Saloon with both a commercial and a consumer component open to the first 10 entrants who apply in both categories.  Whether you’re an amateur or a restaurant, you’ll want to enter your crab-cake to win.  There will be a professional team of judges for both categories as well as the opportunity for the public to judge the commercial version. (Judges TBA) Stan and Joe’s will also be providing a raw bar and a Bloody Mary booth

The Main Ingredient will be offering Maryland Crab Soup as well as other seafood items

Pusser’s will be providing a PainKiller Booth.

Travelin’ Taverns will provide full bar service including wine and coffee beverages.

Fordham Brewing Co. will be providing Craft-Brewed beer straight from the taps.

Funtastic Foods will be providing Pit Beef, Burgers, Fries, Soft Drinks, and Funnel Cake.

(For more information about activities scheduled for the Annapolis Tugfest contact: Suzie Galler: [email protected] )

About the Tug of War and The MRE

Billed as the longest International*Tug of War over water in the world, The Tug was originally conceived by the residents of Eastport thirteen years ago when the City of Annapolis used the excuse of a “public works project” to close the Spa Creek bridge that leads to Eastport from Annapolis. This unprovoked act of aggression on the part of the City of Annapolis had the effect of cutting off Eastport residents and businesses from the rest of the city. The somewhat fractious citizens of Eastport, feeling the sting of rejection by The City and, perhaps, somewhat emboldened by the generous pouring habits of a local bartender, decided to declare war against The City of Annapolis and secede. Thus, to the rallying cries of “Up The Republic”, the micro-nation known as The Maritime Republic of Eastport was born. In the ensuing years, although the Spa Creek Bridge has since re-opened, the once persecuted citizens of Eastport (Eastport-O-Ricans) have yearly declared a symbolic War of Independence against The City of Annapolis lest anyone forget this dark period of Annapolis-Eastport relations. The Tug of War, a celebration of the geographical and, some would argue, philosophical differences between Eastport and Annapolis, is a not-to-be missed maritime event unlike any other. The MRE is a registered 501(c)3 organization. All funds raised by the Tug and other MRE events are distributed to various charitable organizations in the Annapolis area. To date, over $275,000.00 has been raised.

*While other cities may claim to host a longer Tug, this is the only international Tug competition over water in the world. To read more about the history of the micro-nation known as the Maritime Republic of Eastport or to see “Slaughter Across The Water”, a 13-minute documentary about The MRE and The Tug, please visit: www.themre.org

Still scratching your head about this whole MRE/Annapolis thing? Interested in seeing what it is all about? Check out this video!

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