Do’s and Don’ts Guide to the Annapolis vs. Eastport Tug of War

The annual Tug of War, an event steeped in tradition and camaraderie, stands as a testament to the spirited rivalry between the Maritime Republic of Eastport (MRE) and the City of Annapolis. This lighthearted yet fiercely contested showdown, nicknamed the Slaughter Across the Water, is scheduled to take place on Saturday, Nov. 4th. As Patti Slaughter, the esteemed Premier of the Maritime Republic of Eastport (MRE), fervently declares, “If you’ve never seen it, you have to go!” This sentiment echoes the enthusiasm that permeates every aspect of this unusual event.

The Tug of War serves as a symbolic reenactment of Eastport’s tongue-in-cheek declaration of independence from the city of Annapolis in 1997. It began as a cheeky response to the temporary closure of the Spa Creek bridge, an event that Eastport residents dubbed an “unprovoked act of aggression.” It has since evolved into a tradition that unites these two communities in a spirited tug-of-war over the waters of Spa Creek.

To the participants, Patti Slaughter offers invaluable advice: “Make sure you get people on your team that weigh as much as a truck and have roots as deep as a tree.” This playful yet practical counsel underscores the significance of assembling a formidable team for the tugging battle. Additionally, for those from Annapolis eager to partake in the festivities across the creek, Patti announces, “One-day passports will be made available to anyone from Annapolis that wants to come to our party.” 

To help you make the most of this strange tradition, here are the essential do’s and don’ts for making the most of this exciting day.


  • Arrive Early: To secure a spot on a team, arrive promptly at 11 a.m. The registration tables can be found at City Dock for the Annapolis side, and near the Chart House restaurant on 2nd Street for the Eastport side. Remember, you must be 18 or older to participate in the tug of war.
  • Come Prepared: If you’re planning to tug, wear comfortable clothes and shoes with good grip. Don’t forget gloves to help with your grip on the rope.
  • Bring Cash: While ATMs are available, it’s always a good idea to have cash on hand for convenience.
  • Participate in the Fun Zone: On the Eastport side, there’s a “Fun Zone” with attractions like cotton candy, a dunk tank, and face painting. It’s a great place to enjoy some lighthearted entertainment.
  • Indulge in Food and Drinks: With food trucks and five booze truck vendors, there’s no shortage of refreshments. In the past, the event has gone through an impressive 64 kegs of beer.
  • Rock out: The lineup of bands is hot and sure to keep your toes tapping as you explore the vendors and revelry.
  • Download the “Where In Annapolis” App: Stay up-to-date with live event updates using the “Where In Annapolis” mobile app.


  • Miss the Age Requirement: Remember, participants must be 18 years or older to take part in the tug of war.
  • Arrive Late: To secure a spot on a team, arriving at 11 a.m. is crucial. Late arrivals might miss out on the chance to participate.
  • Forget Comfortable Attire: Since tugging requires physical effort, wearing comfortable clothes and shoes is a must. Avoid any attire that might hinder your movements.
  • Neglect Gloves: For a secure grip on the rope, gloves are highly recommended.
  • Rely Solely on ATMs: While there are ATMs available, it’s advisable to bring some cash to avoid any inconveniences.
  • Skip the Fun Zone: Whether you’re tugging or spectating, the Fun Zone offers a variety of enjoyable activities for everyone.

Remember, this event is not just about competition, but also about community and celebration with the proceeds going to local charities. So, gather your team, gear up, and be prepared for a day of spirited fun at the annual Tug of War.