Thursday: Crab Derby

May 18

The Old Lexington Market Crab Derby has a storied history, from that first race in 1859 (won by a Blue Crab named, probably in ironic jest, “Officer Rigdon” by then-Mayor Thomas Swan, but that’s another whole thing). Though marred by allegations of “fixing,” unsanctioned “outhouse races,” and numerous drunken brawls, that initial race birthed a tradition that has helped define The Old Line State. Maryland was ever-thus known as “blue crab country,” raising and racing thoroughbred (i.e. “blue”) crabs exclusively even as lesser venues fiddled with hermit crabs and other crustacean riff-raff. Now the universally-recognized “middle jewel” of crab racing’s Triple Crown (i.e. after Barbados; before Crisfield), the Faidley/Devine Cup regularly attracts the fastest blue crabs from across the country and the world, thrilling hundreds of fans and contributing mightily to the city’s economic vitality! As always, there is food, games, live music from the Kelly Bell Band, and delicious beer. This year also features a crab-picking contest for individuals and teams and a hat contest. Crabtaculicious! 5-8 p.m., Lexington Market, 400 W. Lexington St.,, $5 (kids 16 and under free). (Edward Ericson Jr.)

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