LONG BEACH, Wash. — You would be hard-pressed to find another town in America that holds an annual birthday party for a grotesque sideshow attraction, but such is life in Long Beach.

Jake the Alligator Man, the star of Marsh’s Free Museum – and bumper stickers on countless cars – has been turning 75 for the last several years, and two things always happen. One, he stays the same age, and two, he is “awarded” a new “bride” by way of a pageant.

Last weekend, the two-day party began with the adults-only bachelor party, held once again at the Long Beach Elks Lodge on Friday night. The room was packed with people looking to unwind, or just looking to look – the party featured a burlesque show with a number of performers from the regional pseudo-stripping scene.

Saturday afternoon, the party moved to the Veterans Field downtown, where “rat-rod” cars were on display as part of the show.

The big draw was the Bride of Jake pin-up contest, with the winner given the title for the year.

Nine ladies vied for the honor, including Saphire Storm and Bayou Bettie. Contestant April, in her first ever pin-up contest, was visited briefly on stage by one of her children as the show began.

The contestants tried to woo the judges of the contest with a variety of talent acts, including a tap dance routine by Mysterious Margaret, dressed as a lobster. MC Del Murray got on the floor of the stage with his microphone in an attempt to amplify the sound.

Local bellydancer Varyin Parham danced her way to the Bride of Jake title with a crowd-pleasing performance. Mysterious Margaret was named Bridesmaid, while Sapphire Storm won People’s Choice.

To see more photos from the parties, go to www.dailyastorian.com

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