Hemingway Days to Honor Ernest in Key West July 18-23, 2023
KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Ernest Hemingway look-alikes, writers, anglers, and fans of the late author’s work are to gather in Key West Tuesday through Sunday, July 18-23, 2023, for the annual Hemingway Days celebration. The festival honors the legacy of the American literary giant who lived and wrote on the island for most of the 1930s.
Scores of stocky, bearded men resembling Ernest are to compete in the annual Hemingway® Look-Alike Contest at Sloppy Joe’s Bar, 201 Duval St., a frequent hangout for the legendary writer during his Key West years.
Other festival events include prose and poetry readings, the wacky “Running of the Bulls,” presentations on Ernest and his influence, a commemoration of the 124th anniversary of his July 21 birth, a museum exhibit of rare Hemingway memorabilia, a three-day marlin tournament recalling his passion for deep-sea angling, a street fair celebrating Key West’s lively spirit, a 5k run and paddleboard race that salute Hemingway’s sporting interests, a walking tour, and the announcement of the winner of the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition coordinated by Ernest’s author granddaughter.
Ernest Hemingway wrote many of his best-known works in the second-story studio that adjoins his former Key West home — now a museum — at 907 Whitehead St. Among them were “Death in the Afternoon,” “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” and “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber.” Hemingway even used Depression-era Key West as the setting for his widely acclaimed novel “To Have and Have Not.”
Both his literary prowess and his exuberant Key West lifestyle are commemorated during Hemingway Days.
Hemingway Days Updates & Information
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Photos from the 2022 Hemingway® Look-Alike Contest and Events
Jon Auvil, center, grimaces as he receives congratulatory smooches from judges Joe Maxey, left, and Fred Johnson, right, after winning the 2022 Hemingway® Look-Alike Contest Saturday, July 23, 2022, at Sloppy Joe’s Bar in Key West, Fla. Auvil, who won on his eighth attempt, beat 124 other entrants in the contest that was the highlight event of Key West’s annual Hemingway Days. (Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau)
Gerrit Marshall, standing, endeavors to convince the judges he should win the 2022 Hemingway® Look-Alike Contest Saturday, July 23, 2022, at Sloppy Joe’s Bar in Key West, Fla. Marshall was chosen one of the top five out of 125 entrants, but did not take the title. Hemingway lived and wrote in Key West during most of the 1930s. (Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau)
Ernest Hemingway look-alikes and others walk with manmade bulls on wheels during the “Running of the Bulls” Saturday, July 23, 2022, in Key West, Fla. The lighthearted take-off on the famed run in Pamplona, Spain, was staged as part of the island city's annual Hemingway Days festival. Hemingway lived and wrote in Key West during most of the 1930s. (Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau)
A cat dubbed Leonardo da Vinci rests atop an antique typewriter at the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum on Whitehead Street in Key West, Fla. Hemingway lived and wrote at the home for most of the 1930s, penning some of his best-known works. Now a registered National Historic Landmark, the home is a museum honoring the author — and a haven for several dozen cats, many of them with six toes and descended from a sea captain’s feline given to Hemingway. (Rob O'Neal/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.