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Goodland Mullet Fest 2006

Meisa Rants dances with Aaliyah Ott, 5, at the 20th annual Mullet Festival at Stan's Idle Hour Seafood Restaurant in Goodland Saturday afternoon.

Photo by Darron R. Silva, Daily News

Meisa Rants dances with Aaliyah Ott, 5, at the 20th annual Mullet Festival at Stan's Idle Hour Seafood Restaurant in Goodland Saturday afternoon.

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  • Ellie Hague, 3, from left, Danielle Collins, 7, Brehna Lopez, 6, and Lucy Findley, 10, perform the Buzzard Lope during the Little Princess contest Saturday at the Mullet Festival in Goodland. Stan Gober, the festival host, dances in the background. Ellie ended up winning the contest.
  • Festival-goers dance to the beat of the buzzard lope during the 19th annual Mullet Festival at Stan's Idle Hour Seafood Restaurant in Goodland on Jan. 18, 2003.
  • Nine-year-old Ciara Lister of Naples does the buzzard lope during the 19th annual Mullet Festival at Stan's Idle Hour Seafood Restaurant in Goodland on Jan. 18, 2003. The festival's host, Stan Gober, is pictured at right.
  • Donna Webb of Marco Island fillet's four mullets in 2 minutes 17 seconds to take a third place in the fish-cleaning contest during the 19th annual Mullet Festival at Stan's Idle Hour Seafood Restaurant in Goodland on Jan. 18, 2003.
  • Kay Lenard models apparel from the Island Woman store during the 19th annual Mullet Festival at Stan's Idle Hour Seafood Restaurant in Goodland on Jan. 18, 2003.
  • Hundreds of people flocked to Goodland for the 19th annual Mullet Festival at Stan's Idle Hour Seafood Restaurant on Jan. 18, 2003.
  • 1990 Queen Buzzard Lope Mary Martin gets the crowd riled up as Stan Gober performs narratives with music on Sunday at Stan's Idle Hour Seafood Restaurant in Goodland. Martin is the most winning Buzzard Queen in the history of Goodland Stan's Mullet Festival held each year at Stan's Idle Hour Seafood Restaurant. In 1995, Martin was awarded Queen of the Decade for the festival's 10th anniversary. This year Martin will be competing against all previous Buzzard Queens since the festivals start in 1985 to try to become the event's Queen of Score.
  • Costumes for Queen Buzzard Lope contenders can get very elaborate. 1990 Queen Buzzard Lope Mary Martin has had many, including this one.
  • 1990 Queen Buzzard Lope Mary Martin begins the Queen Buzzard Lope dance as restaurant owner Stan Gober performs narratives with music on Sunday at Stan's Idle Hour Seafood Restaurant in Goodland. Martin is the most winning Buzzard Queen in the history of Goodland Stan's Mullet Festival held each year at Stan's Idle Hour Seafood Restaurant. In 1995, Martin was awarded Queen of the Decade for the festival's 10th anniversary.
  • Meisa Rants dances with Aaliyah Ott, 5, at the 20th annual Mullet Festival at Stan's Idle Hour Seafood Restaurant in Goodland Saturday afternoon.
  • Ken Kilman of Naples fillets a mullet during the fish-cleaning contest at the 20th annual Mullet Festival at Stan's Idle Hour Seafood Restaurant in Goodland Saturday afternoon.
  • Amelia Bird dances the buzzard lopedrawing applause from the crowd durin the Queen Buzzard Lope of the 2004 contest at the Mullet Festival at Stan's Idle Hour Restraunt in Goodland on Sunday. Bird beat out several other competitors from across the country to win the 2004 crown.
  • Florida resident Amelia Bird reacts to applause from the crowd after being named Queen Buzzard Lope of the 2004 Mullet Festival at Stan's Idle Hour Restraunt in Goodland on Sunday.
  • Florida resident Amelia Bird reacts to applause from the crowd after being named Queen Buzzard Lope of the 2004 Mullet Festival at Stan's Idle Hour Restraunt in Goodland on Sunday.
  • Nunu Clary and Bob Muller, both of Naples, dance during the 21st annual Mullet Festival held at Stan's Idle Hour Restaurant in Goodland on Saturday. The Mullet Festival continues through today with live music starting at noon and the crowning of the Buzzard Lope Queen at 4 p.m.
  • Olivia Ponton, 2, of Naples twirls as she does the Buzzard Lope during the Princess Buzzard Lope contest during the 21st annual Mullet Festival held on Jan. 22 at Stan's Idle Hour Restaurant in Goodland. Ponton won the competition to become the Buzzard Lope Princess.
  • Sue Longtin of Ft. Myers Beach fileted mullet during the fish-cleaning contest during the 21st annual Mullet Festival held on Jan. 22 at Stan's Idle Hour Restaurant in Goodland. Longtin cleaned four mullets in 2 minutes and 29 seconds, but lost to last year's winner Dennis Robinson who cleaned the four fish in 1 minute and 40 seconds.
  • Stan Gober, 79, of Goodland takes in the action at the annual Mullet Festival. Gober and his friend, A.B. Martin, came up with the idea for the fish-honoring fest 22 years ago, and it has been held at his restaurant, Stan's Idle Hour, ever since.
  • Katie Schiller, 7, of Marco Island accepts her prize for winning the Princess Buzzard Lope Dance Contest. Schiller took home a trophy, bicycle and one hundred dollars.
  • After the kids showed their stuff in the Princess Buzzard Lope Contest, the older generation hit the dance floor to the tunes of Hot Damn.
  • The festival offered fried mullet, music, and  events like the fish-gutting contest the whole day through, until visitors started filtering out at sunset.
  • Festival founder Stan Gober closes out the day by joining the band in a rendition of 'God Bless America.' Gober wrote the Buzzard Lope song used during the Princess contest.
  • Katie Schiller, 7, of Marco Island dances the “Buzzard Lope” during the Princess Buzzard Lope contest of the 22nd annual Mullet Festival at Stan’s Idle Hour Restaurant in Goodland on Saturday. Schiller earned the title Princess Buzzard Lope, winning over 16 other contestants during the dancing competition. The festival will continue through today.

It began with a little-known fisherman and has evolved into a weekendlong, mullet-frying, buzzard-loping, foot-stomping party with live music and outrageous costumes.

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