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35,000 People Gathered to Throw Dead Fish on a Beach This Weekend

For over 31 years, people have been flocking to the Flora-Bama Lounge and Oyster Bar for the honor of throwing a one-pound mullet as far as they can.
Photo via Flickr user C-Monster

Southern culture is an enigmatic beast, with many an oddity to be found along its Koolickle-laden path. Only a few weeks ago, beloved NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. rattled the rest of America to its core with the blindsiding revelation that he enjoys banana and mayonnaise sandwiches. Yet again, we're reporting on a little-known bit of genteel Southern charm and you best believe it involves a hell of a lot of dead mullet literally thrown across the state border between Florida and Alabama.


#mullettoss 2016 was a success at the famous @_florabama @johnmcinnisiii

A video posted by Riley Green (@rileyduckman) on Apr 23, 2016 at 4:09pm PDT

For over 31 years, people have been flocking to the Flora-Bama Lounge and Oyster Bar, located on the Redneck Riviera—the chain of beach communities on the Gulf Coast of the Florida Panhandle right near Alabama. They come to participate in the annual Interstate Mullet Toss, which just took place from the 22nd to 24th of April.

READ MORE: Prepare to Be Horrified by Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Favorite Sandwich

The Toss, we're sorry to report, is exactly what it sounds like. People sign up and pay $15 for the honor of throwing a one-pound mullet as far as they can. Participants start by standing in a ten-foot circle, located in the state of Florida, and toss the fish over the state line into Alabama. There are rules, of course: no sand on the fish (to make it less slippery, we presume), no gloves, no stepping outside the circle. After the fish is thrown, a two-person team officially measures the length of each throw. Fish are reused—until they can't be.

How far will you toss your fish this weekend at the Interstate Mullet Toss at the Flora-Bama? — Working Waterfront (@workingwaterfr1) April 21, 2016

The winners are those who throw the mullet the farthest within each category—there are age-group categories for men, women, and children. The lucky winners get a trophy and a gift certificate and "any other crap we find laying around," according to the official website. Some of the money collected goes to charity, but the main purposes of the event appear to be a lot of debauchery and beer drinking.

According to The Pensacola News Journal, more than 35,000 people from all over the country are believed to have participated in the three-day fish fling.

And, just in case you were wondering, it is merely a coincidence that this festival involves a fish called the mullet. Mullets are plentiful in the Gulf, and although most people use them for bait, locally they are considered "a delicacy," according to the people at the Flora-Bama. The event has nothing to do with the haircut favored by rednecks and 70s rock stars.