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Conch Festival – Turks & Caicos 2013

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Wow! What an honor and a privilege it was to be an invited guest and judge for the 10th annual Conch Festival in Blue Hills, TCI. November 30, 2013 –  the 10th Annual Turks & Caicos Conch Festival, held at Blue Hills, Providenciales, at the Three Queen’s Bar & Restaurant Delicious! There were so many variations of Conch…..Salads, Specialties, Chowder (Red and White). Thanks to the organizers, and especially Alge Dean for making this possible. In the end there was 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in each category. Bay Bistro took home the big trophy for the day! Other winners included Hemingway’s, Hole in the Wall, and a new restaurant called Mr. Grouper. Congrats to all the winners!

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Provo has the world’s only commercial conch farm and you can go on a tour and learn all you ever wanted to know about edible trumpets, like: all parts of a sea shell are edible. “Where in the world is that?” is a phrase commonly heard when we tell friends of our trips to the Turks and Caicos Islands.  The Turks & Caicos Islands consist of forty islands, including eight major islands and a number of uninhabited cays, pronounced “keys,” located 575 miles south of Miami and 39 miles southeast of the Bahamas chain of islands.  The islands are a British territory, where the U.S. dollar is the official currency.

Except the shell.

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It wasn’t all about eating Conch at Conch Fest. There was a “Conch Knocking” contest where one had to show their skill at getting the Conch out of the shell (bore a hole with a hammer, and stick the thing with a knife so it crawls out). There was a “Conch Blowing” contest. You have to be long winded to win that one (US$1000 prize). The winner blew for 11 seconds! The biggest winner of the day/night was the person who took home the $10,000 “Pot of Gold” prize (only $10 for a raffle ticket). I’ll be sure to buy my ticket early next year. By the time I decided to enter the deadline passed to purchase. Oh well!

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Conch Knock

Participants compete to see who can extract the most conchs from their shell

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