It’s that time of year again. The 24th Annual Goodland Stan’s & Sons Mullet Festival when the mullet will a-fryin’ and the turkey buzzards will be a-circlin’ and flyin’over Goodland while aspiring Queen and Princess wanabees will don outrageous costumes and work themselves into a frenzy doin’ the Buzzard Lope in hopes of mesmerizing the Mullet Festival attendees into whistling, yelling and applauding louder’n anything to choose one of tykes Princess Buzzard Lope during the contest Jan. 19, and even louder than that to choose one of the ladies to be anointed the Buzzard Lope Queen during the contest the next day.
Did I mention that each contest also includes a winner for each best costume in both categories? That’s not to imply that can’t win both contests in their respective categories, because sometimes they win both and collect the $50 each for princess, and $100 each for queen. Both the princess and the queen are assured to get a trophy, says Stan Gober, patriarch of all he surveys and father to Idle Hour manager Steve, Bartender/Waiter Jay, the middle son, and Russ the charter boast captain and oldest son.
The 24th Annual Mullet Festival kicks off Jan. 18, from 6-10 p.m., at Stan’s Chickee Bar and there’ll be Fried Mullet Dinners, smoked mullet, cocktails and beer, all on the premises all three days, promises Stan, and in addition the Marco Island Fire Department will be serving hot dogs!
“I’ll be doing the buzzard dance in between live musical sets performed Friday and Saturday by Norm and Debbie of the Hot Damn Duo,” promises Stan, adding there will also be a Fish Cleaning Contest at 3 p.m. followed by the aforementioned Princess Buzzard Lope and Best Costume contests Jan. 19 at 4 p.m. On Sunday Jeff Hilt and the Stampede Band’s live music jamboree begins at noon. In between The Queen Buzzard Lope Dance Contest and Best Costume award, the only time that Stan Gober dresses in his Mask and King Buzzard costume — “I look like a witch doctor!”
“I think the even the buzzards seem to be getting ready,” states Stan, noting that he’s been seeing them flying around all week. “They sure have,” Staff member Julie Doxsee, says emphatically. Stan’s said he’s been doing The Mullet Festival for 37 years: “I started in January 1970 — I’m still the King Buzzard but he’s the top dog” says Stan, smiling broadly at Steve Gober, youngest son of three and Stan’s Idle Hour manager.