Kentucky Derby of Crustaceans: the Garibaldi Crab Races

With the call of a bugle the competitors get ready at the gate. Pop! goes the starter’s gun, and—they’re off! Six pink Dungeness crabs, clawing and crawling their way as fast as they can to the finish line. Behind each crustacean, their sponsors cheer, cajole and counsel each crab onto a win at the Garibaldi Crab Races.

Began as a way for locals to get together during the rainy days of winter, the Garibaldi Crab Races are now into their third decade and have become so much more than just a distraction. With the spirit of tongue-in-cheek fun, the Garibaldi community welcomes people from all over the world to this annual event, offering competitors a chance to sponsor a racing crab or to taste the local crab delicacies caught along the Tillamook Coast.

Throughout the two-day, event 500 crabs compete in more 100 heats, giving everyone a chance to join in on the fun. And the stakes are high, with championship prizes ranging from donated deep sea fishing trips to gift cards to bikes for the kids.

Participants are divided into adult and kid heats, with several different categories of races designated for visiting and local contestants. All proceeds from this Lions Club event go towards providing hearing aids and prescription glasses to those in need throughout Tillamook County.

If you’ve got a competitive spirit and love the friendly rivalries that spring up between friends, come out to the Garibaldi Crab Races on March 12 – 13, 2016. More info.

Dena Weigel Bell
Dena Weigel Bell began traveling in college on two cultural history study abroad programs and hasn't wanted to stop yet. After 10 years working in corporate marketing departments, her wanderlust had her seeking out ways to combine her love of writing and travel, which led to becoming a freelance writer. Dena lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and daughter, where their combined travel bucket list grows exponentially with each new day.

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