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Hammer and Claws Crab Festival to Bring 50K Crabs to Chelsea

By Mathew Katz | August 19, 2013 11:54am
  The Hammer and Claws crabfest returns to Chelsea for a third year in September.
Crab Festival Returns to Chelsea
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CHELSEA — Fifty-thousand live crabs will crawl into Chelsea next month for the third annual Hammer and Claws crab fest.

The two-day event at Chelsea's Terminal Stores building will provide hungry diners with all of the Old Bay-dusted Maryland blue crab they can eat, along with cornbread, potato chips, corn-on-the-cob and all-you-can-drink Abita beers.

Tickets are on sale now for the feast, which runs for three lunch and dinner seatings on Sept. 21 and 22 at the Tunnel at the Terminal Stores Building, 269 Ninth Ave.

Along with the all-you-can-eat options, this year's Hammer and Claws fest will offer diners a variety of a la carte dishes, including shrimp and Gotham Project wines.

But the main event is still the roughly 50,000 live crabs, which are brought by the truckload from Maryland's Chesapeake Bay and cooked in specially designed trailers that steam 500 crabs every 20 minutes. 

At last year's weekend-long celebration, diners ate about 1,200 pounds of crab, cracked open with 3,250 mallets, and drank about 10,000 beers.

The Hammer and Claws crab fest runs for three seatings on Sept. 21 from noon to 3 p.m. and from 8 to 11 p.m., and on Sept. 22 from noon to 3 p.m. Tickets are available online for $95 for adults and $50 for children ages 6 to 12. Children under 6 can come for free.