Hemingway Days

Key WestHemingway Days

Hemingway Days to Honor Ernest in Key West July 20-25, 2021

KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Whether composing novels in his Whitehead Street writing studio or fishing for big game in local waters, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Ernest Hemingway left a powerful legacy in Key West. His zest for life, literary accomplishments and enduring affection for the island where he lived during the 1930s are to be commemorated Tuesday through Sunday, July 20-25, with the annual Hemingway Days festivities.

Scores of stocky, bearded men resembling Ernest are to compete in the annual Hemingway® Look-Alike Contest -– an event that was not held in 2020 because of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. The 2021 competition is to be held July 22-24 at Sloppy Joe's Bar, 201 Duval St., a frequent hangout for the legendary writer during his Key West years.

Sloppy Joe's also plans to stage the "Running of the Bulls," a spoof of the famed Pamplona event featuring look-alikes and manmade bulls parading down Key West's Duval Street.

Other planned events include a three-day marlin tournament recalling Hemingway’s passion for deep-sea angling, a commemoration of the 122nd anniversary of the author's July 21 birth, a museum exhibit of rare memorabilia from his life, literary readings, a street fair celebrating Key West's lively spirit, a 5k run and paddleboard race that salutes his sporting interests and the announcement of the winner of the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition coordinated by Ernest Hemingway's author granddaughter.

During his Key West residence, Ernest Hemingway wrote some of his most enduring works and spent his leisure hours fishing and socializing with local and literary cohorts. Keep checking here for updates on Hemingway Days, the festival that salutes his legacy on the island he called home.

Hemingway Days Information

Photos from the 2019 Hemingway® Look-Alike Contest and Events

Former winners of the Hemingway Look-Alike Contest

Former winners of the Hemingway Look-Alike contest, including Charlie Boice, right, evaluate 2019 entrants Thursday, July 18, 2019, at Sloppy Joe's Bar in Key West, Fla. The competition, that has attracted about 135 entrants, is part of the island city's annual Hemingway Days festival that pays homage to Ernest Hemingway who lived and wrote in Key West in the 1930s.

Running of the Bulls

Ernest Hemingway look-alikes begin the "Running of the Bulls" Saturday, July 20, 2019, in Key West, Fla. Held on the eve of the 120th anniversary of Hemingway’s birth, the whimsical takeoff on the famed run in Pamplona, Spain, was a facet of the island city's annual Hemingway Days festival that ends Sunday, July 21.

Happy Birthday

Dave Hemingway, left, and Richard Filip, right, smear birthday cake on Michael Groover after they and fellow Ernest Hemingway look-alikes sang "Happy Birthday" to the famed American author Saturday, July 20, 2019, in Key West, Fla. Dave Hemingway (no relation to the author) won the 2016 Hemingway Look-Alike Contest, Filip was victorious in 2017 and Groover, the husband of celebrity chef Paula Deen, won in 2018.

A playful smooch

Joe Maxey, left, gets a playful smooch from Michael Groover, after Maxey won the Hemingway Look-Alike Contest Saturday, July 20, 2019, at Sloppy Joe's Bar in Key West, Fla. Competing for his eighth time, Maxey beat 141 other contestants to claim top honors. Groover, husband of celebrity chef Paula Deen, won the title in 2018.

Photos by Andy Newman, Florida Keys News Bureau

For information on the Hemingway® Look-Alike Contest, visit sloppyjoes.com.

For high-resolution photos of Hemingway Days for media use, visit media.fla-keys.com.

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