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, all themed to celebrate the island city’s maritime heritage. Elements include tens of thousands of lights, dozens of lighted palm trees, a lobster trap holiday tree, a nautically decorated pine and a tree adorned with fishing buoys that resemble giant ornaments.
The 2020 Holiday Fest is focused on outdoor events where social distancing can be maintained, personal and family exploration of holiday attractions, and other ways to enjoy seasonal traditions while safeguarding against the spread of coronavirus. Event participants must wear masks or facial coverings in accordance with local health mandates.
Highlights include virtual and live gift shows and auctions, the Schooner Wharf Bar’s open-air tree trimming party and toy drive, unique gift-shopping opportunities at seaport boutiques and Dec. 4-23 holiday lights tours of lavishly decorated neighborhoods aboard the Old Town Trolley and Conch Tour Train.
On-the-water enthusiasts can show their seasonal spirit by embarking on an all-day catamaran adventure on Christmas or a New Year’s Eve sunset sailing excursion, while aspiring filmmakers can compete in an online competition that asks participants to reimagine their favorite holiday movie with a Key West twist. Contestants’ films are to be screened virtually Dec. 19-26.
Lovers of unique and vintage automobiles can indulge their passion at a Holiday Classic Car Show presented Sunday, Dec. 20, by the Conch Republic Seafood Co. Held in the restaurant’s parking lot at Greene and Elizabeth streets, the show is expected to feature classic cars from virtually every era, all festively adorned for the holidays. As well as prizes for the best cars, attendees can vie for an award for the most creative holiday mask.
Because Holiday Fest events may be added or changed based on the evolving coronavirus situation, organizers urge people to visit the festival website at keywestholidayfest.com for up-to-the-minute information.
Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY