Colorado man wins Key West conch blowing contest

5:40 PM, Mar 1, 2014   |    comments
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KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) - A Colorado man has won the men's division of Key West's annual Conch Shell Blowing Contest, something his father did 28 years ago.

Michael Cox triumphed Saturday by blowing a two-toned toot on the same fluted, pink-lined shell his father used to win in 1986. The 38-year-old Pueblo resident followed that with an excerpt from the jazz standard "Summertime."

Judges evaluated entrants from children to seniors on the quality, novelty, duration and loudness of sounds they produced.

Other winners included Parker Curry, 7, an eighth-generation Key Wester.

Conch shells have been used as signaling devices in the Florida Keys for more than 200 years. Native-born islanders are called Conchs and the Keys are nicknamed the Conch Republic.

The contest was conceived 52 years ago by the Old Island Restoration Foundation.

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