It’s become one of the biggest weekends of the year on Perdido Key, with more than a thousand people lining up to fling a fish and tens of thousands of spectators from all over the country and beyond standing by to enjoy the competition.
Perdido Key, Fla. (PRWEB) April 12, 2015
Perdido Key, Fla. is well-known for its incomparably white sand beaches and turquoise Gulf waters. The sixteen mile-long island is home to Big Lagoon State Park and Gulf Islands National Seashore, which was recently voted Florida’s Best Beach in a USA Today poll.
But it might be more famous for an annual tradition that started more than 30 years ago at the iconic beach bar Flora-Bama, where thousands of people of all ages line up each April to take their best shot at throwing a dead mullet—a popular and plentiful fish indigenous to the area—across the state line.
The first mullet toss was a small affair, held on a July 4th weekend in 1985. But once CNN aired footage of former University of Alabama and NFL quarterback Kenny Stabler throwing the fish in 1988, there was no going back.
It’s become one of the biggest weekends of the year on Perdido Key, with more than a thousand people lining up to fling a fish and tens of thousands of spectators from all over the country and beyond standing by to enjoy the competition, along with live music, food and other activities.
And what a competition it is. The Mullet Toss record is 189 feet and 8 inches, set by Josh Serotum in 2004. In a bid to overthrow him in 2008, Roald Bradstock, a former Olympic Javelin thrower and one-time world recorder holder in that event, launched his mullet 169 feet and 9 inches, falling short by almost 20 feet. (Undaunted, Bradstock then broke his own Guinness World Record for throwing a cell phone, sending it 211 feet and 8 inches).
There are rules, of course. You can’t bring your own mullet. No gloves are allowed. You can’t load your mullet with sand or other substances, although some contestants have given their mullet a sip of beer. You have to fetch the fish after it’s been thrown, and stepping out of the 10-foot throwing circle or tossing the mullet out of bounds will result in an automatic disqualification.
The wildly popular beach bash also raises money to support good causes. This year’s event is expected to generate $20,000 for Community Drug & Alcohol Council.
WANT TO GO?
- WHAT: Flora-Bama Interstate Mullet Toss and Gulf Coast’s Greatest Beach Party
- WHERE: Flora-Bama, 17401 Perdido Key Drive, Perdido Key, FL
- WHEN: 10a.m.-closing Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 24-26; celebrity tossers at noon each day
- COST: Free to watch, $15 entry fee to throw. Registration forms on the beach.
- ONLINE: http://www.florabama.com/events/interstate-mullet-toss-and-gulf-coasts-greatest-beach-party