Thousands of people flooded to Stan’s Idle Hour in Goodland for the 34th annual Mullet Festival, a time honored tradition that celebrates excess.
The three-day event included live country music, tons of fried/smoked mullet and other seafood, rum-infused Buzzard Punch, an art show, and, as always, the beloved Buzzard Lope Queen competition.
Stan Gober, who passed away in 2012 at the age of 86, created the now infamous festival. The tradition has gained a cult-like following and has continued dutifully in his honor. His son Steve Gober now runs it.
This year, part-time Marco Island resident “Fancy” Nancy Young took home the title of Buzzard Lope Queen. Young won the affection of the crowd with her bird-like dance moves and all black ensemble, which featured an ornate feathered headpiece, a prosthetic bird beak, and stuffed buzzard accessories.
The Marco Island Fire Rescue Department was also on hand serving hot dogs and bratwurst in an effort to fundraise for Captain Andy Marfongella of the North Collier Fire and Rescue District. Marfongella was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016. In 2017 it was discovered that the cancer had spread to his lungs and liver. Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo branch location under the Andy Marfongella Donation Fund.