Gilbert Baker savors the moment as his 1.25-mile rainbow flag is unfurled down Key West's Duval Street. (Photo by Mike Hollar, Florida Keys News Bureau)
- By: Steve Smith
- June 24, 2015
Though many of June’s Pride events are completed, Key West’s famed sea-to-sea rainbow flag is still celebrating. Recently a section of the iconic banner graced the Pride parade in Pennsylvania’s New Hope and Florida’s Palm Beach, draped a building in Buffalo, N.Y., and has been touring Ohio (after a stint in Columbus, it will be carried in the Cincinnati and Cleveland parades).
Flag creator Gilbert Baker and a team of volunteers sewed the 1.25-mile flag for Key West’s 2003 Pride week. Weighing over three tons, the flag contained approximately 18,600 linear yards of fabric.
Some 2,000 volunteers of widely varying ages, ethnicities, and sexual orientations carried the flag the entire length of Key West’s Duval Street from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean in a sea-to-sea showing of openness and pride. It was a magical day!
If you’re visiting us over the July 4 weekend, you can enjoy our fireworks and the annual Hospice Picnic at the Casa Marina Waldorf Astoria Resort. For more than 30 years, our community has celebrated the July 4 holiday by gathering on the grounds and Atlantic Ocean beach at the Casa (as we call it) for an old-fashioned picnic complete with burgers, hot dogs, performances by local musicians, the island’s largest silent auction and libations. After the sun dips below the horizon, the sky above Key West’s White Street Pier explodes with a fireworks display.
Admission to the gala picnic starts at $10 per person — $25 with food included. You won’t find a better place to meet and mingle with locals, enjoy an adult beverage and watch the fireworks display seemingly right over your head.
As much fun as the picnic is the annual Key Lime Festival. Conceived by Key West author and baker David Sloan, who penned “The Key West Key Lime Pie Cookbook,” this festival is sure to WOW your taste buds. And if you want to, enter the Key Lime Talent Show — it will be wonderfully wacky.
For those who don’t know, Key lime pie features a creamy yellow filling flavored with the juice of tiny yellow Key limes and nestled in a graham cracker crust. Enjoy it plain or topped with whipped cream or a mile-high meringue.
Try your hand at making a pie for the festival’s cooking championships, or attempt to devour a whole meringue-topped pie faster than other speed-eating competitors — without using your hands.
If you aren’t into making or eating a pie, then sample locally-distilled Key lime rum or join the Key Lime Cocktail Sip & Stroll for libation lovers.
Speaking of taste treats, while you’re here take the Southernmost Food Tour and eat like a local at multiple restaurants and emporiums as you stroll through Old Town Key West. On this entertaining three-hour walking tour, you’ll also learn about the island’s history, architectural wonders and cultural roots.
We all live a fast-paced life — but the Southernmost Food Tour will relax you and slow you down as you learn what island life is really about … while tasting some amazing island delicacies. Where else can you eat your way across a historic island?
Until next time … enjoy summer 2015!
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