If you go
When: Saturday and Sunday
Where: Downtown Goodland, centered around Stan’s Idle Hour Restaurant
Cost: Outdoor festival is free
GOODLAND — A few decades ago, Stan Gober, musician and restauranteur, decided tiny Goodland on the southern end of Marco Island needed a festival of its own.
Everglades City had one as did Naples, Bonita Springs and Fort Myers Beach.
Since shrimp and seafood and even snook were taken, Goodland picked the lowly mullet -- lowly in some circles -- to be the centerpiece.
Add to that a black-and-white feathered costume, a unique dance and a catchy song — all of Gober’s creation — and you have a popular festival ready to celebrate its 25th birthday.
Arrive early if this weekend’s Goodland Mullet Festival is on your list of things to do. Festival goers usually are packed to the — pardon us — gills.
The festival highlight has long been the Buzzard Lope Queen Contest.
Gober penned a song called “The Buzzard Lope” and became famous by performing it in a feathered buzzard costume. The winner of the queen contest is the lady who dances the “best” buzzard lope.
Besides music and buzzard loping, there will be fried mullet dinners, dozens of other food choices and an ample supply of beer,
There’s usually a fish-cleaning contest and on occasion a mullet-tossing event.
Stan’s Idle Hour restaurant is the center of the Mullet Festival action, but the entire community gets involved. Stan’s opens at 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The festival officially begins at noon each day and runs until the last buzzard drops.