On Tuesday the Baltimore Tattoo Museum offered three free Old Bay tattoo designs in exchange for entry into a Preakness tickets giveaway. Photo: Old Bay

Hundreds Line up for Free Old Bay Tattoos at Baltimore Tattoo Museum

A lot of people on the Chesapeake profess their love for Old Bay—but are you devoted enough to the crab spice to get a permanent reminder tattooed on your body?

Old Bay’s parent company, Baltimore County-based McCormick & Company, were betting some people would take that plunge when they offered free Old Bay tattoos in Baltimore on Tuesday. And they were right: the free tattoos were offered from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and by 11:30 a.m. there were an estimated 180 people in line to get one at the Tattoo Museum of Baltimore in Fells Point. In the end, 200 people showed up and a total of seven tattoo artists got through as many clients as possible. 45 people walked away with new tattoos. They could choose between three Old Bay-logoed designs—a crab, a pair of crossed mallets or a black-eyed Susan (Maryland’s state flower and the official cocktail of the Preakness Stakes. Watch how to make one here.)

McCormick tells us the crab was most popular, but also took the longest to ink.

Old Bay is a sponsor of the Triple Crown’s second event, a horse race that will turn the nation’s attention to Baltimore this weekend. Old Bay offered the free ink as a chance to win tickets to Preakness 148. Everyone who attended the tattoo event from Maryland or Pennsylvania could enter a sweepstakes for a grand prize of two Platinum VIP Preakness Live tickets worth $1,500, or a first prize of two general admission Preakness Live tickets worth $180. The winners were set to be announced Wednesday.

McCormick spokersperson Cierra Colon says the collaboration was inspired by the Maryland spirit that Preakness week evokes.

“We know Old Bay fans love putting Old Bay on any and everything including themselves. It just made sense to host a fun, free tattoo day ahead of Preakness, which like Old Bay, is another Maryland tradition.” 

-Meg Walburn Viviano