Keys Media Advisory - Contestants Pucker Up for Key West Conch Shell Blowing Contest

Macon, Georgia resident Brian Cardis won the men's division of the Conch Shell Blowing Contest, which was held on Saturday by the Old Island Restoration Foundation at Key West's Oldest House Museum. The attendees competed in several categories such as men, women, children, and groups, and were evaluated on the quality, duration, loudness, and novelty of sounds they made. The competition has been held for 59 years and is a Florida Keys tradition. Cardis used his experience as a pediatric cardiologist and a trumpet player to play "Fins" by Jimmy Buffet on his fluted, pink-lined shell, impressing the judges. The conch shell is not only an offbeat musical instrument but also an enduring symbol of the Florida Keys, where native-born residents call themselves "conchs".