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They hurry to catch the tram that takes them through the [[Great Marsh]]. When they arrive, Crasher Wake rushes ahead and they arrive at an open field at sunset. They're startled by glowing eyes in the bushes, which turn out to be a bunch of wild {{p|Croagunk}}. Then, they follow a bunch of Croagunk Trainers to a giant {{p|Croagunk}} Temple. They meet up with Crasher Wake again, who informs them of the [[Pastoria Croagunk Festival]] and the ancient tradition of battling {{p|Croagunk}}, with the leader becoming Champion of the Great Marsh.
 
{{an|Brock}} intrudes in an argument between [[Nurse Joy]] and [[Hamilton]], a brown-haired (turquoise-haired in the first airing of the episode in Japan) male whose Croagunk, Craig, won last year's Croagunk Championship. Brock goes crazy for Nurse Joy, proposing a marriage of their Croagunk, only to be Poison Jabbed by his own Croagunk and dragged off-screen.
 
{{TRT}} arrives at the Great Marsh. [[James]] recalls his childhood, during which he first met and rescued his {{TP|James|Carnivine}}, who was trapped in the Great Marsh mud.
 
Ash and friends enjoy the evening festival, eating Croagunk cookies and watching Croagunk-shaped fireworks. Crasher Wake MCs the event and introduces Hamilton, the defending Champion, who places Craig's crown on a pedestal - to be won by this year's Champion. Crasher Wake, the operator of the rail system, and Nurse Joy judge the competition.
* {{p|Croagunk}} (multiple)
 
==Trivia==
[[File:Craig crown.png|thumb|200px|right||The crown]]
[[File:Blue Haired Hamilton.png|thumb|200px|right|Hamilton's original appearance]]
* Details of this episode were actually made known in [[K-Zone]], a children's magazine, before any official Japanese episode listing.
* This episode shows how James and Carnivine met and possibly explains why Carnivine is so affectionate.
* ''[[Pokémon Ondo]]'' is used as background music.
* The background music from ''[[EP039|Pikachu's Goodbye]]'' is also used in this episode.
* The diamond and pearl on the crown are references to {{game|Diamond and Pearl|s}}.
* The dub title refers to the phrase "the cream of the crop".
* James caught his {{TP|James|Carnivine}} in the [[Great Marsh]] (which makes sense, since it is the only known place to catch a {{p|Carnivine}} in [[Sinnoh]]), yet he keeps it in a regular [[Poké Ball]], rather than a {{ball|Safari}}, though this may be because he officially captured it outside of the Marsh. A similar situation was made with Ash's Tauros where, despite their being captured in Safari Balls, they occasionally appear in Poké Balls.
* Hamilton's hair, eyes, eyebrows, and face shape were changed sometime after the character was first seen, and he no longer has sunglasses; his own Japanese name as well as Craig's were also changed. The changes were made by the Japanese producers to avoid lawsuits from the makers of {{wp|Dokonjō Gaeru}}. As a result, several scenes needed to be completely reanimated and Yuriko Yamaguchi, [[Yōko Sōmi]] and Tetsu Inada (the respective voices of [[Nurse Joy]], [[Hamilton]], and [[Crasher Wake]]) had to re-record a few lines due to the name changes. Hamilton was meant to be a direct parody of the main character of the series, Hiroshi.
* This is the first episode in which two voice actors return to the series - [[David Brimmer]] and [[Jason Griffith]].
 
 
==In other languages==
{{Epilang|color=FFCCCCFCC|bordercolor=9999FF99F
|zh_cmn={{tt|濕原大濕地的不良蛙祭典!?|The Croagunk Festival of the Shīyuán (Pastoria) Great Marsh!?}}
|cs={{tt|Festival Croagunků|The Croagunk Festival}}