Top Ten: Fiftieth Seafood Festival

Published: Monday, December 30, 2013 at 14:25 PM.

Together, they sound just the right notes - that the seafood industry that is Franklin County’s heritage and lifeblood shall long endure. “It will go as far as we can take it,” said Martin, daughter of Teresa Ann Martin of Apalachicola and Henry Martin of Destin

Millender is a prime example of the type of people Martin is talking about, a Carrabelle native, grandson to Braxton Millender, who started the business in 1942 and then handed it down to his son Farris Millender.

After Martin and Millender arrived by shrimp boat, State Sen. Bill Montford and Apalachicola Mayor Van Johnson welcomed the guests. John Solomon, president of the board of directors, presented a plaque to Billy Spikes, who directed the first festival in 1963.

Now in the real estate business in Orlando, Spikes back then was a young marketing manager for Florida Power, and worked closely with city business interest to create an attraction for visitors in the off-season. Ted Mosteller, also retired from Florida Power, stepped down this year after more than four decades on the volunteer board.

Solomon said despite a rainstorm that shaved the last couple hours off Friday’s events, this weekend’s crowd was in excess of 31,000, fueled by a combination of it being the golden anniversary, the appearance of county music and Dancing with the Stars champion Kellie Pickler Saturday night, and the weather.

He said gate receipts were at least $57,000, with a record number of t-shirt sales.

After that it was time for another tradition, this time a win in the oyster shucking contest by Scotty O’Lear, an 11-time state champion and a five-time national champion.



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