May 28, 2024
Annapolis, US 80 F

MRE’s Annual Tug-Of-War Canceled for Second Year Over COVID Fears

The Maritime Republic of Eastport has canceled the 2021 MRE vs. Annapolis Tug of War out of concerns for the safety of participants. MRE Premier Harry Lockley says “There’s just no way to have 2,000 people in such a confined space safely, even outdoors. And nobody wants to tug with masks on.”

The event had been planned for November 6th in the Eastport neighborhood of Annapolis. Billed as the “Slaughter Across the Water,” the annual event pits the neighborhood of Eastport against the city of Annapolis in the longest over-water tug of war in the world. The idea was originally conceived 24 years ago when the city announced a public works project to close the bridge over Spa Creek that leads from Eastport to downtown Annapolis. A group of residents declared their “independence” from the city and established the Maritime Republic of Eastport (MRE), and each year re-affirms its independence in a proclamation to the mayor challenging Annapolis to a tug of war across Spa Creek.

Lockley says “We, in the MRE know the importance of events like this to maintain the character of Eastport, support local businesses, and raise money for areal charities. While these traditions are important, they’re not worth risking the health of our fellow Eastportoricans. The tug will be back when we can do it safely”

Lockley thanked the volunteers, tuggers, and attendees who made the event such a success in the past and wanted to ensure people continue to support the sponsors that have made it possible in the past. MRE events, like the tug of war and annual 0.05K Bridge Run have helped to raise more than $500,000 for Eastport charities since the organization was founded.

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