Every year, the city of London, Kentucky pays tribute to the king of processed chicken, Colonel Sanders, in September with a look-alike contest. In Key West, tourists celebrate Hemingway Days, where look-alikes compete in Key Lime pie-eating contests and arm wrestle.
Entering its third and final week, the contest is part of Flanigan's 51st anniversary. From Stuart to Hialeah, contestants have studied the iconic face on the restaurant's over-sized plastic green cups in hopes of winning a share of over $30,000 in cash and prizes.
Joe Turino is one of those contestants and is a Hialeah Flanigan's regular.
"Let's see, I was born in '86," he said. "So that's 24 years, and at least 17 of those that I actually remember going."
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On Friday at 9:30 p.m., Turino plans to wow the Hialeah crowd with an elaborate tribute to Joe Flanigan and the Flanigan's brand. He has spent the better part of 2010 prepping for this day.
"Everyone told me I should've entered the contest last year," he said, "but I wasn't mentally or physically prepared. My beard needed to be fuller, my costume had to be better."
Turino was hesitant to reveal any secrets but said, "We have a damn good shot at winning this. I haven't heard of anybody doing anything this extreme."
Short Order will have a complete wrap-up of the Joe Flanigan look-alike contest and more on Joe Turino's quest for Flanigan fame.