Prior to the Florida Seafood Festival’s oyster eating contest is its equally famous oyster shucking contest. Don’t blink! This event happens so fast that the judging takes longer than the actual event. The fastest shucker isn’t necessarily the champion. Each gloved, oyster knife wielding contestant stands poised over a tray filled with 18 of the World Famous Apalachicola Bay Oysters. Often within two minutes a pair of hands have flown into the air – signaling completion. Others continue to be timed. When all contestants have completed their chore the judges take over. Mutilate a succulent Apalachicola Bay oyster and get off stage – you’re through for the day. Nick it, leave unsightly loose shell, or commit one of a dozen other dastardly deeds and penalty time is added to your score. In addition to prizes, the Florida Seafood Festival champion goes on to compete in the national oyster shucking championships.