KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) -- A man from Key West has won the island city's 50th annual Conch Shell Blowing Contest.
Clinton Curry impressed the judges Saturday by kicking off his performance with a 45-second blast on a single shell. The 38-year-old then played an excerpt from composer Aram Khachaturian's "Sabre Dance" followed by a long toot blowing two shells.
Competitors from kids to seniors were judged on the quality, novelty, duration and loudness of the sounds they produced.
Blowing the fluted, pink-lined conch shell has been a Key West tradition since the early 1800s, when seafaring settlers used it for signaling. Native-born islanders are called Conchs, and the Florida Keys are nicknamed the Conch Republic.