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A fascinating array of Hermit Crab hopefuls will compete for the title of Miss Crustacean 1 p.m., Wed., Aug. 5 at the 6th St. Beach. They will follow in the claw steps of such glamorous past title holders as Crabunzel, Crabahontis, Crab Mc Muffin, Copacrabana and Pirates of the Crabibbean.

The winner captures the coveted Cucumber Rind Cup, a large trophy with a cucumber stuck inside. A cucumber represents a year’s supply of groceries for a hermit crab if supplemented with tree bark and pizza crust for fiber.

In addition, the victor gets to waddle down a flower bedecked runway as adoring throngs sing the Pageant’s theme song, Here It Comes, Miss Crustacean. They will be led by Shelly, the mermaid, aka soprano Suzanne Muldowney accompanied by Elvis performer, Ted Prior.

The winner will also be serenaded by Rene Sese, noted Casino performer and Ocean City resident known as the Philippine Do Ho. Sese will sing a Hawaiian love song to the new Miss Crustacean, in honor of the 2009 Queen of Crabs and the 50th Anniversary of the Statehood of Hawaii.

The world’s showcase for decorated hermit crabs displayed on colorful backdrops, Miss Crustacean 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.

The pageant is followed by the rollicking Hermit Crab Races with about 150 Crabathletes plodding and clunking over an 8 ft. plywood oval. A bugler sounds the call at the starting gate (a plastic cake dish cover) 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 Mac Closkey, also a professional comedian.

The popular, youth rock band 1-2-3 Draw will provide atmospheric music that these events so richly deserve.

The world’s record of 6.3 seconds was set 33 years ago by Hermie, who has since departed to that Great Hermit Tree Crab Sandbar in the Sky. His record remains as an inspiration to all crab racers that wish to be inspired. The event is sanctioned by NASCRAB, the National Association of Crab Activities at the beach. Officials will be on hand to check the Crustaceans for searoids.

Entry in both events is free. There is no pre-registration. Call 609-525-9300 for information. A sand sculpting contest will also be held on the 6th St. Beach starting 9 a.m. on Aug. 5. Entry is free. Prizes will be awarded for all age groups.

NOTE: Hermit crabs are not indigenous to this area and should not be left on the beaches to fend for themselves. They cannot survive the winter here. 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 event.