Local parades, beach parties and on-the-water fun topped off by fireworks displays are to highlight Independence Day celebrations throughout the Florida Keys. As well as an annual salute to the United States’ freedom, some activities surrounding the July 4 holiday also illustrate the island chain’s quirky independent spirit. Highlights include: Key West The Key Lime Festival features … Read more
Audiences can rock, sway and sing along to some of America’s hottest contemporary hits and classics Wednesday through Sunday, May 4-8, during the 2022 Key West Songwriters Festival. More than 175 performing songwriters — including multiplatinum entertainer Chris Young, whose career includes eight studio albums and 10 number-one singles — are to showcase their chart-topping … Read more
As many as 500 solo and relay-team open-ocean swimmers will attempt to conquer the eighth annual Swim for Alligator Lighthouse, a unique endurance challenge in Atlantic Ocean waters off Islamorada slated for Saturday, Sept. 11. Individuals and two-, three- and four-person teams must complete the 8-mile roundtrip course in less than eight hours. To compete … Read more
Fans of Ernest Hemingway and his literary greatness, including scores of bearded Hemingway look-alikes, are to converge on Key West Tuesday through Sunday, July 20-25, for Hemingway Days 2021.
Divers and snorkelers can explore a portion of the continental United States’ only coral barrier reef while enjoying an Underwater Music Festival that promotes reef preservation Saturday, July 10, in the Lower Florida Keys. The 37th annual Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival, a melodic experience that spotlights environmentally responsible diving as well as reef protection, … Read more
The Florida Keys’ sweetest treat is to be in the “limelight” Thursday through Monday, July 1-5, as fans of Key lime pie salute the island chain’s signature dessert and the tiny fruit that inspired it. The 2021 Key Lime Festival is to include a Key lime pie–eating contest, cocktail stroll, “moveable feast” pie tasting, wacky Key lime pie “drop” and even a scavenger hunt with … Read more
Vibrant arts emporiums, a fast-growing culinary scene and a colorful working waterfront characterize Stock Island, the Florida Keys community on the outskirts of Key West. Visitors can explore the eclectic island — headquarters of the Keys’ commercial shrimping industry — during the I Love Stock Island Festival set for Wednesday through Sunday, June 16-20. Attractions … Read more
Solo swimmers, relay teams and even “mermaids” can test their strength and stamina Saturday, June 12, during a 12.5-mile open-water Swim Around Key West. Entrants in the annual College of the Florida Keys’ Swim Around Key West can register as solo competitors or in teams of two to six swimmers with or without fins. The … Read more
Male, female and junior anglers — including first responders, veterans and active-duty service members — can test their skills against five finned species Friday through Sunday, June 18-20, during the ninth annual VFW Fishing Tournament. The family-friendly challenge’s target species are mahi-mahi, wahoo, tuna, snapper and grouper. Cash prizes are to be awarded for the … Read more
The 25th Annual Key West Songwriters Festival is returning to the island May 5-9. This year’s festival will host nearly 100 of the world’s most prolific hitmakers and up-and coming songwriters on 12 different stages in a pared-down setting due to the ongoing pandemic. The festival traditionally hosts over 200 songwriters across 38 stages at an array … Read more
Movie aficionados can enjoy outdoor and indoor screenings in Key West during the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, with 11 films to be unveiled by Tropic Cinema — a Sundance Satellite Screen partner in one of only two Florida cities. The nonprofit Sundance Institute, founded by actor Robert Redford, selected Tropic Cinema in part because of … Read more
Innovative cuisine, premium libations and intriguing events in subtropical island settings top the “menu” at the 2021 Key West Food and Wine Festival.
Key West may be Florida’s subtropical southernmost island, but visitors can enjoy events as seasonal as Santa’s North Pole celebrations during the 2020 Key West Holiday Fest that runs through Dec. 31. The harborwalk area in the Key West Historic Seaport is to glimmer with holiday displays from Elizabeth to Grinnell streets throughout the season, … Read more
Around the island chain, visitors can view lighted boat parades from the shore or excursion boats, or even revel in the Keys’ holiday spirit by decking out their own boat in dazzling lights and eye-catching seasonal decorations.
Key West’s annual celebration Fantasy Fest will be going online this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 12-mile distance around the island for the of Key West Paddle Classic. Competitors will be on paddleboards and self-propelled watercraft.
Florida Keys Divers can help preserve the Florida Keys’ native reef fish populations during the fun, socially distanced Reef Environmental Education Foundation 2020 Lionfish Derby. Scheduled Thursday through Sunday, Sept. 10-13, the derby challenges participants to capture and remove as many non-native lionfish as possible from Keys waters. This year, COVID-19 restrictions have forced organizers … Read more
The organizers of Key West’s Fantasy Fest costuming and masking festival announced Thursday that the 2020 festival, originally scheduled Oct. 16-25, would be canceled to protect against the potential spread of COVID-19.The festival typically draws some 60,000 people to Key West’s Duval Street for its highlight parade, as well as several thousand for its annual … Read more
Shrimp, spiny lobster, stone crab claws and fish, all “fishermen-to-fork fresh,” are to headline the attractions for attendees at the Original Marathon Seafood Festival scheduled Saturday and Sunday, March 14-15, in Marathon. For over 40 years, the taste bud–tempting outdoor feast has drawn seafood lovers and Keys families to gather at the Marathon Community Park, mile marker 49 oceanside. Commercial fisheries and markets catch, clean and cook the nearly 15,000-pound spread of fresh Florida Keys seafood, bushels of oysters from the west coast of Florida and tasty smoked … Read more
It’s not a stringed instrument, a percussion instrument or the musical choice of virtually any “American Idol” contestant. Nonetheless, the conch shell takes center stage in Key West’s music scene each spring, when several dozen hopefuls vie for victory in the annual Conch Shell Blowing Contest. Set for noon Saturday, March 7, the 58th annual … Read more