Your Guide to the Annapolis Cup
Updated: Mar 2, 2020
The Annapolis Cup, a nine-wicket croquet tournament between the St. John’s College “Johnnies” and the U.S. Naval Academy’s Midshipmen, has been ongoing since 1983. Although the hosting location has changed a few times, it now rests as an amenity of the victor. St. John’s College has won 29 of 36 matches, the most recent being the 2018 Annapolis Cup.
Although tickets sell out early, there are some things you should know if you’re one of the lucky ones who were fortunate enough to get tickets early.
This event is a whole thing. We’re talking sports, music, food and drinks. We’re talking a solid event that draws roughly 8,000 people a year. If that’s your thing, great. If you’re not a fan of crowds, you might want to reconsider attending.
It’s a community lawn party, and one of the biggest in the area. So, bring your family, bring a picnic, and bring your dancing shoes. A swing band will provide tunes during the day, and guests are welcome to bring food, sealed nonalcoholic beverages, camping chairs and blankets. Leave your furry family members at home, however, unless they are service animals. You’ll also want to leave coolers and weapons at home.
You’re going to want to go all out on your attire for the day. Many guests say the event has a Great-Gatsby feel, and attendees often dress in pre-Depression era, roaring ‘20s attire. Others prefer to follow the “Spirit of the Spring” theme, with flowy sundresses and seersucker suits. Others yet prefer to follow the beat of their own drum, with one family consistently showing up in full Victorian-era attire. One thing is for sure, you’re encouraged to let your personality shine and have fun with your ensemble.
Although guests are encouraged to bring food, food trucks are on site throughout the day, selling specialty food items. There also will be champagne and beer for sale. Bring cash because not all vendors accept credit cards. An ATM is available for guest use, but the line can get long.
There are a couple things you’ll want to bring to make the event fun and comfortable, including sunblock, bottled water and your camera. If you want to post selfies or photos of the croquet match or the band on social media, use #AnnapolisCup2019 so you can get the lowdown on how others are enjoying their day, as well.
This long-standing rivalry is serious, having lasted for more than 30 years — but it’s all in good fun. Winning is not what makes it fun.