Top Ten: Fiftieth Seafood Festival

Dr. Photis Nichols, who practiced medicine in Apalachicola for more than 50 years, returned from Jac Photo available for purchase

Dr. Photis Nichols, who practiced medicine in Apalachicola for more than 50 years, returned from Jacksonville for the parade, riding the Weems Hospital float with Valencia Marsh, left, and Glenda Wilson.

David Adlerstein
Published: Monday, December 30, 2013 at 02:25 PM.

If the size of the oyster eaters’ appetites are an accurate gauge, this year’s crowd at the 50th annual Florida Seafood Festival was a bellyful for the record books.

A late thunderstorm Friday night, followed by an overcast morning, gave way to crisp, sunny weather, ideal for taking in a podium full of competitors guzzling mollusks.

Gerald “G” Goodman, of Southport, ate 27 dozen oysters to win the oyster eating contest, just 72 oysters short of the record.

“The rules say you have to use a fork to get them out the cup. If he wants to swallow ‘em, he can swallow ‘em. That’s up to him,” said Miuchael Shuler, who oversaw the completion.

Among females, Apalachicola’s Dana Taylor, pulled a stunning upset of five-time champion Angie Harnage, who downed only seven dozen and six oysters, about half of her personal best. Taylor consumed an impressive 18 dozen.

Reigning over the golden anniversary of the Florida Seafood Festival were two musicians - a young trombone-playing pixie and a young-at-heart bass-playing seafood dealer.

Franklin County High School junior Morgan Martin, 16, has long played first trombone in the Seahawk band, and now leads the musicians as drum major. Her King Retsyo, Vance Millender, a seafood dealer with deep ties to the industry, plays tenor sax and bass guitar for the rock band Locomotive.

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