Which crab will be crowned Miss Crustacean?

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Find out Wednesday at the Sixth Street beach

OCEAN CITY — For 39 years the Miss Crustacean Hermit Crab Beauty Pageant has attracted hundreds of curvaceous crustaceans and their best friends. On Aug. 1, America’s most glamorous Crabettes will congregate at 1 p.m. on the Sixth Street beach to vie for the coveted Cucumber Rind Cup, symbol of crustacean comeliness. A cucumber represents a year’s supply of groceries for a hermit crab if supplemented with tree bark, pizza crust for fiber and a dash of swamp water.

In addition to the Cucumber Rind Cup, the victor gets to waddle down a flower bedecked runway as throngs sing the pageant’s theme song, “Here It Comes, Miss Crustacean.” The new Miss Crustacean follows in the footsteps of such legends as Crabunzel, Crabahontis, Crabopatra, Crab Mc Muffin, Taxi Crab, Copacrabana, Crab Salad and Pirates of the Crabibbean.

Miss Crustacean is the world’s showcase for decorated hermit crabs displayed on colorful backdrops. It has been a question on Jeopardy, been named one of the nation’s ten most unusual events by U.S. News and World Report, been translated into Japanese and German and featured on the Spanish World Wide Television Network, in the London Sunday Times, on London TV, in the Wall Street Journal, as well as media throughout the United States and the world.

The pageant is followed by the rollicking Hermit Crab Races with about 150 crabathletes plodding, creeping and clunking over an 8-foot plywood oval. A bugler sounds the call at the starting gate before each heat. Heat winners compete in the championship run-off. The winner is declared “The King of Klutz,” and receives a plaque that says so from Harry da Horse, aka Ron MacCloskey. The Pageant and Race are sanctioned by NASCRAB, the National Association of Crab Activities at the Beach.

Entry in both events is free. There is no pre registration. Call 609-525-9300 or email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  for information.

Owners who do not wish to keep their crabs after the event should give them to NASCRAB officials who will provide a home. Information on how to care for hermit crabs will be distributed at the contest.

Prior to the contest, there will be a sand sculpting contest 9 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1 at the Sixth Street beach, the second one of the season. For more information, call 525-9300.


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