The Florida Keys & Key West

Hemingway Days

Hemingway DaysHemingway Days

38th Annual Hemingway Days to Honor Ernest in Key West July 17-22, 2018

KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Ernest Hemingway look-alikes, writers, anglers and fans of the late author’s work are to converge on Key West Tuesday through Sunday, July 17-22, 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 the writer 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,” symposium presentations on Ernest and his influence, a commemoration of the 119th anniversary of his July 21 birth, a museum exhibit of rare Hemingway memorabilia and a three-day marlin tournament recalling his passion for deep-sea angling.

Ernest Hemingway wrote many of his best-known works in the second-story writing 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 used Depression-era Key West as the locale for “To Have and Have Not,” his only novel set in the United States.

Both his literary prowess and his exuberant Key West lifestyle are saluted during Hemingway Days.

Hemingway Days 2018 Updates & Information

Photos from the 2017 Hemingway® Look-Alike Contest and Events

Richard Filip

Richard Filip, left, is congratulated by Fred Johnson, right, and other previous winners of the Hemingway Look-Alike Contest Saturday, July 22, 2017, at Sloppy Joe's Bar in Key West, Fla. Filip, of Fayetteville, Texas, won the 2017 contest on his seventh attempt.

2017 Hemingway Look-Alike Contest

Richard Filip, center, is amid his supporters after leaving the stage during the final round of the Hemingway Look-Alike Contest Saturday, July 22, 2017, at Sloppy Joe's Bar in Key West, Fla.

Matt Collins

Matt Collins holds an antique typewriter during the 2017 Hemingway Look-Alike Contest staged Saturday, July 22, 2017, at Sloppy Joe's Bar in Key West, Fla. Collins, impersonating a younger Ernest Hemingway, reached the final round but was not selected the winner.

Running of the Bulls

Ernest Hemingway look-alikes push fake bulls on wheels through the Curry Mansion Inn's driveway Saturday, July 22, 2017, in Key West, Fla. Dubbed the Running of the Bulls, the event is an offbeat answer to its namesake in Pamplona, Spain.

Photos by Andy Newman, Florida Keys News Bureau

For information on how to compete in the Hemingway® Look-Alike Contest, visit

For high-resolution photos of Hemingway Days for media use, visit

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