If the bigger the better sets your standard for crab feasts, you’ll find happiness, crabs and company at three upcoming festivals, each a Maryland tradition.
Wednesday July 18: The 36th annual J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake in Crisfield, the crab capital of the world.
Devour all the steamed crabs, fried fish, clams, corn on the cob, sweet potato fries, onion rings you can. Wash it all down with endless water, soda or beer. Cap your feast with a juicy slice of watermelon. The feast honors former governor J. Millard Tawes and, during election years, brings in bushels of politicians as well as seafood. 12-4pm, Somers Cove Marina, Crisfield. $40: 410-968-2500; www.crisfieldchamber.com/events.htm.
Friday August 3: The 67th annual Annapolis Rotary Crab Feast, rumored the world’s largest.
Crack into all-you-can-eat jumbo hard-shells, smothered in Old Bay and steaming hot. A tradition since 1945, the August feast expects 2,500 crustacean cravers to devour 40,000 of the biggest crabs in three hours. Put aside your hard-shell picking for corn on the cob, barbecued pork, hot dogs and crab soup. Benefit local charities. 5-8pm, Navy-Marine Corps Stadium, Annapolis: $60 in advance; $75 at the gate: 877-333-9667; www.annapolistickets.com.
Sunday August 12: The Third Watermen’s Appreciation Day & Crab Feast
Chesapeake watermen show off their catch and their traditions in this day of feasting and fun sponsored by the Talbot County Watermen’s Association. With your hot crabs and cold beer watch professionals in a spirited Watermen’s Rodeo boat-docking contest along Fogg’s Cove (11am-3:30pm). Then join in a jigger-throwing contest, and meet reality TV star Edgar Hansen, from the Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch of the fishing vessel Northwestern.10am-5pm, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels. $25: 410-745-2916; www.cbmm.org; www.talbotwatermen.com.