NORTH EAST — It will be all claws on deck Saturday, Sept. 14, as the Crab Crawl returns for its sixth year of raising money for the Friends Foundation of the Cecil County Public Library.

“The Friends Foundation of the Cecil County Public Library supports CCPL’s children’s literacy initiatives such as the Children’s Book Festival, summer reading events, programs and book giveaways, as well as the second floor of the new North East Branch Library, which will be dedicated to children and teens,” said Jaime Daley, a Friends Foundation board member and the chair of this year’s Crab Crawl Committee.

From 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., attendees will have the chance to sample various crab-based dishes, including crab bisque, crab balls, crab surprise, crab salad, and crab pizza, from five downtown North East restaurants, as well as a bonus crab-shaped chocolate from North East Chocolates.

Port House Grill, Pier 1 Restaurant, Bella Pizza and Woody’s Crab House will return this year, each serving their own crab dish.

“The restaurants were eager to return this year, and we are grateful for their support,” Daley said.

Daley added that Bella Pizza distributed Crab Crawl stickers on their pizza boxes leading up to the event to help promote the crawl.

unWined, which participated in last year’s event, is still recovering from a March fire that damaged the restaurant. While owner John Bragg plans to reopen the business Friday, Sept. 13, unWined will not be one of the participating restaurants in this year’s Crab Crawl.

But that fifth spot on the crawl will not be left vacant as Snatcher’s Creekside will be joining the event this year.

“Snatcher's Creekside has quickly become loved by the community, so we are thrilled to partner with them this year,” Daley said. “I think it's tremendous to have a new restaurant participate to support children's literacy initiatives at the library.”

People can purchase tickets at www.crabcrawl.org for $45 each until Sept. 13. After that, if there are any left, tickets can be purchased the day of the event for $50 each.

Starting at 10:30 a.m. the morning of the event, people can pick up their tickets in front of Booksellers Antiques at 35 S. Main St. in North East.

Last year, the Friends Foundation of CCPL sold 270 tickets to the event. This year, they’re shooting for 300 tickets, according to Daley.

In addition to the crawl itself, people can purchase one of two $5 collectible pins that will grant the wearer access to discounts and specials at participating merchants on the day of the event.

“​The Crab Crawl is a great event that tends to attract adults, but since the fundraising supports children's literacy programs, we wanted to create a family-friendly atmosphere,” Daley said. “We hope community members who don't necessarily eat crab will come to town to learn more about all that the library offers.”

CCPL will have various stations set up around town where folks can learn about the library’s services, including the Bookmobile which will be parked on the green area between the Santa House and Chesapeake Bay Coffee Co.

This year’s event will also mark the 5th annual Crab Art Auction, where people can bid on 30 crab art pieces and items sponsored and designed by individuals, merchants, and organizations. The silent auction will be hosted throughout the day at West Street Village, Daley said.

Whether families and groups are grabbing a crabby bite to eat at each of the restaurants, touring town to shop for discounts at local businesses, or just want to learn more about the library, Daley said the Crab Crawl is what people make of it.

“​It’s such a fun, relaxed event that can be customized to the individual crawlers,” she said. “Attend the restaurants in any order you like with plenty of time for strolling Main Street.”

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