Crab Races

Crab Race Finals – 2018

The three heats stoked the flames for the final competition tonight at the Great American Crab Races.  Below watch the crabs do their thing, and the winners grab their cash.


Here are the winners for the 27th running of this Clark Lake tradition:

The Great American Crab Races benefits the Clark Lake Spirit Trail, Columbia Academic Boosters, Napoleon Athletic Boosters, and Napoleon Lions Club. 

Check out this year’s schedule and the advertisers who make the event possible.


Crab Race Finals – 2017

“And they’re off” became “now they’re finished,” at least for 2017.  It was the thrill of victory in the final Great American Crab Race this evening at the Beach Bar.


Here are the cash winners.

Walter Rountree, 1st place

Heather Breening, 2nd place

Kasi Minden, 3rd place

The Great American Crab Races are sponsored by the Clark Lake Spirit Trail, Columbia Academic Boosters, Napoleon Athletic Boosters, and Napoleon Lions Club.  They would like to thank all the race sponsors (see below), and salute M-R Builder, B&B Hardware & Mobil Subway, Country Market, and the Beach Bar. 

Crab Race Finals – 2016

It wasn’t about Faster Horses tonight at the Beach Bar, it was about faster crabs.  The crescendo of competition continued to build until the final round of the 2016 Great American Crab Races.  It was Deb Foley, trainer, of “Puff” who walked away with the grand prize of $500.  Dan Omo’s crab “Danny” came in second for $350; and Cheryl Nidecheff’s “Judy Judy” earned her $200.  For the complete rundown of who won what when, please see the tally board below.

Here was the final race when the big money was won.


Before the final race, there was a salute to our country with the singing of the National Anthem.  It started with a recording, then gradually one person after another joined in.  By the “rockets red glare” all were singing enthusiastically.


Linda Reynolds, of the Crab Race committee, comments “it was another great year–every ticket sold!”  This event, in its 25th year, supports the Clark Lake Spirit Trail, Columbia and Napoleon Athletic Boosters and Napoleon Lions Club.  The sponsors play a crucial role.  You can see a list of them as you scroll down.

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Update from July 14, 2015

Tonight’s (Tuesday) final Crab Race began with a hats-off, hand-on-heart, rousing sing of our National Anthem.  Inspiring both participants and crabs, excitement was at its peak!

The group that came together for the final face-off were the winners of the semi-finals on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday evenings. So how did it go?  Check out the video!


First Place – Ann Rumler with “Clark”

Second Place – Robin Hall with “Skippy”

Third Place – Sara Ardner with “Sassy”

Below are the winners from all three days.  To enlarge, click or tap; to reduce, repeat.

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Great American Crab Race Results

And the prize packages?

3 Day Carnival Cruise or voucher

3 Night Trip for Two or voucher

2 Night Train Trip for Two or voucher

Here’s the video of tonight’s semi-final race.


One more race from Tuesday.


And so the 42nd running of the Great American Crab Races come to a close at Clark Lake’s Beach Bar.

 Update July 13, 2014

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Linda Reynolds, Pam Moore, Carman and Dick Tallman discuss crabstratergy with Mike McKay.

Competition heated up once again at the Beach Bar for the Great American Crab Races.  This year, the races span Sunday, July 12 through Tuesday, July 14.  The best of the best face off Tuesday evening with the semi-finals at 9:10 pm and the finals at 9:40 pm.

In all it seems like another glorious year for both the crabs and the participants who hope their crab is the new American Pharaoh.  And indeed, each race starts with a bugle seemingly lifted from Churchill Downs.

In the photo to the left, some of the Crab Race volunteers discuss crabstrategy with Mike McKay.  Mike, with his company M-R Builders, has sponsored the Crab Races since their inception 24 years ago.  Mike has been a sponsor of it since “the first day,” and was part of the original committee.

Below are some scenes from Monday’s races.  First, Team Beach Bar in action.


Here’s another group who competed later Monday evening.


More scenes – to enlarge, click or tap photo; to reduce, repeat.

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 Update from July 12, 2015

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Jimmy Fallon, aka Dan Omo, fires up the crowd as the race is about to begin.

The kids kicked off the Great American Crab Races for 2015 this afternoon (Sunday). More is in store, this time for adults, through Tuesday.  Not to be missed are the semi-finals and finals Tuesday evening.  And it all happens at Clark Lake’s favorite place, the Beach Bar.

How does it work?  Contestants first register and choose their crab from an assortment in an aquarium tank.  The competitors seat themselves at the table, the host releases the crabs from the center of the table, and the first crab to hit the white line that circles the table, wins that race. Contestants are not allowed to interfere with the race by touching or any undue use of audio (as in yelling at them).  There are, of course, prizes.  Scroll down for more information on that and hours.



Choosing your crab is an all important part of planning your strategy to win the race.

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2015 Preview

One of Clark Lake’s most competitive moments is almost upon us.  Contestants will descend upon the Beach Bar July 12-14 at the Beach Bar for the Great American Crab Races.

There are always moments of tension and excitement among those assembled as the crabs fight to be first.  Below is the schedule of events.

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Crab Races, 2014, below:

preparing the round

Officials and players prepare for a new race


The Great American Crab Races pass into the record books for another year.  And with it, lots of fun memories.

Every year the races attract not only Clark Lakers, but people from all over the area to the cauldron of Clark Lake crab activity–the Beach Bar. The event started Sunday afternoon with races for kids.  Then Sunday evening the adults got to play.  The challenges continued Monday and Tuesday evening–with finals Tuesday evening.

Winners in the finals:  1st Richard Bauer with “Yellow Jacket”, 2nd Adam Salladay with “Herb”, and 3rd Phil Herzberg with “Marial”.  And now those vouchers for places like the Bahamas, Las Vegas or Chicago are in the hands of the winners.

Proceeds for the Crab Races go to fund non-profits, including the Clark Lake Spirit Trail.

To enlarge any photo, click or tap.  To reduce, repeat.

If you’d like one of the cool Great American Crab Race t-shirts, you may be in luck if you hurry to Doyles.  They will have a limited supply.

These are the people who bring you the Great American Crab Races at Clark Lake!:

(l to r) Second row: Pam Moore, Robyn Hall, Ann Swain, Kellie Sullivan, Dick Tallman. First row: Karmen Tallman, Linda Reynolds

(l to r) Second row: Pam Moore, Robyn Hall, Ann Swain, Kellie Sullivan, Dick Tallman. First row: Karmen Tallman, Linda Reynolds

crab sign