By Kelly Baughman
The beach time fun begins when fish fly “over the line” next weekend at the 35th Annual Interstate Mullet Toss at the world famous Flora-Bama Beach Bar and Lounge, April 26th through April 28th.
This three day phenomenon, often referred to as the Gulf Coast’s greatest beach party, allows beach goers to grab a mullet and let it fly as far as possible. A mullet is one of the more popular and plentiful fish indigenous to this area. It is the only fish with a gizzard and is said to possess mystical properties. Tossers will throw their fish from a 10-foot circle in Florida across the state line into Alabama. All tosses will be measured, and prizes will be given in each age division.
So why pay $15 to throw a fish? A contribution for each fish flung will go to Local Youth Charities, including local school education and prevention program from the Community Drug & Alcohol Council, Inc. (CDAC) which offers programs, community support and collaboration to address drug and alcohol abuse, tobacco, mental health issues and violence, both in the home and on our streets. Each year, the Flora Bama raises and contributes over $20,000 to local charities, especially youth organizations.
Before the Mullet Toss gets underway on Thursday April 25th, join Big Earl and the Sexual Biscuits for a locals Mullet Toss Kick Off BBQ Beach Party at the Flora-Bama Yacht Club from 5 to 9 pm. While it’s called a “locals” party, everyone is welcome. So swing by and listen to live entertainment, enjoy drink specials, and a BBQ buffet. Get “lei’d” at the luau before the party even gets going!
The fish start flying at 10 am and continues until 4 pm Friday through Sunday, with kids toss at 10am and adults beginning at noon until 4 pm. Bama Owners & celebrity tossers throw at 4pm, with the finals in each category occurring each day at 4:30pm. Entry fee to toss a mullet is $15 per toss, and a souvenir t shirt is included.
On Saturday, April 27th, head across the street to the Ole River Bar and Yacht Club for the Blue Chair Bay Tailgate Party where you can hang out with the Blue Chair Bay brand ambassadors and 95 KSJ Radio from 11 am to 4 pm. Live music will be on stage all day, Blue Chair Bay drink specials will be on the menu all day, and you can enter to win 2 general admission tickets to see Kenny Chesney at The Wharf.
In the Main Room at the Bama on Saturday, April 27th from noon to 2 pm, No Shoes Radio will hold a special songwriter round with three songwriters who are responsible for some of Kenny Chesney’s biggest hits. This upbeat songwriting showcase will give you a behind the scenes look at your favorite songs and the true meaning behind them, told by the people who put the pen to the paper.
So what can you expect when tossing a mullet? Each fish weighs approximately 1 pound, and no gloves or sand on the mullet will be allowed. After the fish has been tossed, it must be retrieved and returned to the bucket. Tossers who step out of the designated 10 foot circle or who throw their fish out of bounds will be disqualified. Each participant will only get one chance to qualify for the finals. 6 men and 6 women will make the finals in each division each day.
Chairs around the Mullet Toss course will be free, and areas will be blocked off for those that want to stand and watch the action. Limited space is available and all chairs are first come first served. No outside alcoholic beverages will be allowed on the premises, but the Flora-Bama will be selling beer in small coolers on the beach and various drink stations will be open for drink purchases on the beach.
As usual, personal beach chairs and tents are allowed on all Flora-Bama properties, free of charge. 10×10 tent spaces are available for rent for $125 for the weekend on the Phoenix X beach from Ike’s Beach Service. Space renters will receive a separate wristband that is good for the Phoenix X beach area only. Contact Ike’s Beach Service at 251-948-3757.
Membership cards are good for entry to Flora-Bama for Mullet Toss. Cover charge to Flora-Bama begins at 9 am Fri-Sun, $10/day for 21 and up & $15 for 13-20 year olds, 12 & under are free. All ages are allowed until 6pm. No one under the age of 21 will be admitted after 6 pm.
Parking is extremely limited at and around the Flora-Bama properties. Prices may vary. The Flora Bama bus will also be running throughout the weekend for $5 each way. Pick ups for the shuttle will take place at the Winn-Dixie parking lot on Sorrento Rd. and also at the Publix parking lot in Orange Beach. Busses will run from 9 am until the bar closes. Uber and Lyft will be available throughout the weekend, as well as the Flora-Bama Shuttle by calling 850-316-5253.
A full music lineup is available by visiting www.florabama.com, but highlights for the weekend include Wes Loper, Red Clay Strays, and Olivers Twist on Friday, Bruce Smelley, JoJo Pres, Tony Ray Thompson, and the Lucky Doggs on Saturday, and Whiskey River Band, Al & Cathy, and Big Al & the Heavyweights on Sunday. And as always, The Big Earl Show featuring Jack Robertson and his Sexual Biscuits will take the stage on Friday and Saturday at 5:30 pm.
For more information, visit www.florabama.com or check out www.perdidokeylive.com and the Perdido Key Live Facebook page for updates.