By Samantha Husted
As far as traditions go, the Spammy Jammy takes the cake. Or in this instance, a can of Spam.
The annual ceremony takes place each June at the Little Bar Restaurant in Goodland, purposefully coinciding with the start of Florida’s hurricane season. The event is infused with humor, colorful costumes, and of course, the processed meat product.
According to local lore, Spammy Jammy was created as a way to appease the hurricane gods. Each year participants take old cans of Spam from last year’s hurricane supplies and create sculptures, works of art, and food. Goodlanders believe that by offering Spam to the powers that be, the area will be spared during the upcoming hurricane season. So take that, Irma.
Spammy Jammy goers are encouraged to wear their best pajamas or nighties to the event. How does this appease the hurricane gods, you may ask? It doesn’t. Pajamas are worn simply because jammy rhymes with spammy. Another theory suggests that pajamas are the attire of choice because hurricanes sometimes strike at night when we are least prepared.
This year the Spammy Jammy theme was an ode to the 1950s mega television show, “I Love Lucy.” The official Spammy Jammy t-shirts displayed the pointed slogan, “You got Spam splanin’ to do!” Perhaps the phrase was aimed at the hurricane gods, as Hurricane Irma hit Goodland particularly hard last year. Fortunately, the Little Bar Restaurant came out relatively unscathed.
Contestants brought with them their best Spam artwork, created almost entirely out of the canned meat. Many of the entries were satirical, poking fun at the current presidential administration. There was a “Make Spamerica Great Again” sculpture, which included a Donald Trump bobble head. There was also a Donald Trump head made completely out of Spam.
Other entries included a “Baby Grand Spiamo,” which was a miniature piano that actually played music. Besides sculptures and art pieces, a few brave locals decided to incorporate Spam into some surprisingly tasty dishes. Mary Durham created a “Spamballs and Hawaiian Sauce” that had people converting to the ways of Spam.
At the end of the day, Spammy Jammy is all about about having a good time. And what else would you expect from a town like Goodland? People have always come to the Spammy Jammy to let off some steam and to pray for an uneventful hurricane season. Hopefully the hurricane gods listened this year.
The Little Bar Restaurant, located 205 Harbor Drive, Goodland, will be closed for the summer. They reopen in October. For more information visit: www.littlebarrestaurant.com or call 239-394-5663.