GOODLAND — As if Goodland needed an excuse for a party.
Saturday night, “Spammy Jammy,” the festival held at the Little Bar to ward off hurricanes by putting on PJs to party, and sculpting Spam into silly statues, was back for the 18th year.
While Collier County residents and visitors from all over showed up to be part of the celebration, the event had a distinct local flavor.
Goodland, a fishing outpost on the southern end of Marco Island, is different from the rest of the county, slightly off-center and proud of it. Goodland natives created many of the entries in the Spam sculpture contest.
“Spammary Glands,” by Carey Poulter, featured a pair of pink breasts ensconced in a peek-a-boo bra. Celeste Navara of Goodland created a topical entry, “Hands Across the Spam,” with the Spam beach covered by figures with linked hands.
Sandy Bryson of Goodland submitted the floral-themed “ChrySPAMthemums.” Bryson is a veteran Spammy Jammy sculptor, having created Spamela Anderson, the Pink Spamingo, and Sponge Bob Spam Pants. Last year, she won it all with her Cocker Spamiel, complete with a little pink “accident.”
But this year, top honors in the “art” category went to Collier County School Board member Pat Carroll, who sculpted “Brocc OSpama,” a realistic likeness President Obama with features of Spam and broccoli hair. The entry form credited Robert Lee Murray with the name, and Carlin Mitchell with the original concept.
The Spammy Jammy sculpture contest entry form is a work of art in itself, with questions including “which judge will you be bribing?” and, after the “name” category, a request to “not supply some wiseguy answer here OK? Unless it really is you Dr. Frankenstein.”
“We can be bought,” confirmed official event judge John Bob Willett. “Bribes are very acceptable.”
“Don’t you just love the artwork people come up with?” asked Little Bar co-owner Niki Bauer. “The creativity that comes out here is fabulous.”
Bauer was wearing a “bordello modern” black negligee, but still, she said, had to be the one to keep the event flowing smoothly.
Along with the sculptures, Goodland natives led the way in the “Jammy” portion of the event, as well. Little Bar co-owner Ray Bozicnik wore an electric blue kimono embroidered with a dragon, and the hair on top of his head rose to one central spike. “I’m just trying to make a point,” he deadpanned.
Ray’s wife Amy went with a long chiffon nightie featuring a plunging décolletage. Goodland painter Tara O’Neil tended bar in a terry cloth robe, with her hair done up in curlers. Local musician Bob Duffy sported a Hugh Hefner smoking jacket and shades.
Elizabeth Mettetal came in her Betty Boop pajamas and slippers, while husband Lawrence let it almost all hang out, with nothing but boxers under his beads and bathrobe. Natalie Strom, in a little black spaghetti strap number, offered Jell-O shots to those who couldn’t get to any of the regular bars.
When the Raiford Starke Band started its set, there was little movement possible.
“Where else are you going to find this?” asked Buddy Garraty, crowded into the standing-room only bar to listen to the music, as a trio of young ladies in teddies and one angel, complete with halo and wings, pushed their way past.
The crowd featured all ages from 20s to upper 70s, with a few small children taking it all in as well.
Spammy Jammy marks the end of the season for the Little Bar; the restaurant closes for the summer after Wednesday evening, with reopening scheduled for October.