September may be when you bid a sad farewell to summer parties and outdoor get-togethers, and (if you live up north) start to wonder if Mother Nature will torture you with cold weather until next spring.

Womenfest banner Key West

Key West’s popular Womenfest offers adventures, celebrations and camaraderie in the all-welcoming southernmost city. (All photos courtesy of Womenfest)

However, don’t worry — you can always escape to the island of Key West and enjoy our balmy subtropical weather, fragrant ocean breezes and gorgeous ocean waters all year long.

Since it rarely gets cold here, I sometimes lose track of what season it is. (Or maybe I’m just a space cadet — who knows?) Either way, I find watching the Weather Channel once in a while helps calibrate me with the mainland’s seasonal weather changes.

One of my “O.M.G. it’s early September already!” moments generally comes when I see thousands of women flock to Key West for our annual Womenfest festivities.

The “women powered” party is renowned as one of North America’s largest gatherings of lesbians and their friends. The event was created to allow singles, couples and groups of women to experience the camaraderie of like-minded people on the all-welcoming island of Key West.

Women at Key West's Womenfest

Entertainment, music and parties await singles, couples and groups of women at the lively festival.

This year’s event will be held Wednesday through Sunday, Sept. 5-9. The schedule is filled with of adventures on land and sea, live entertainment and celebrations to get you into your “Party Girl” mode.

Womenfest events include a sunset dinner cruise and a catamaran reef excursion, delicious late-night parties (with lots of libations on hand) and spirited pool parties at local guesthouses and hotspots.

For high-energy sports gals, flag football clinics and friendship games are among the attractions.

The Womenfest schedule kicks off with an opening night party set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5, at Key West’s Sidebar, an LGBT dance club at 504 Angela St.

The Sidebar has a stunning 12-foot video wall and a dance floor that’s 20 feet by 16 feet. Whether you’re a dancing queen or (like me) prefer watching everyone else dance, the Sidebar is the place to be.

Festival organizers at the Key West Business Guild have an incredible line-up of entertainment planned for Womenfest attendees.

The talent roster includes Spikey Van Dykey — a male illusionist and “drag king” entertainer who’s nationally acclaimed — and DJ Citizen Jane, who has played Pride festivals across the U.S.

Womenfest Key West pool party

Pool parties at local guesthouses and hotspots play a big part in Womenfest.

And our amazing local DJ and radio host extraordinaire Rude Girl will spin current hits for multiple enticing parties.

On Sunday, Sept. 9, Womenfest participants can join our weekly ritual for locals and visitors: the 4 p.m. Tea Dance at our beloved La Te Da, 1125 Duval St. It’s followed by a Tea Dance After Party at Mangoes, 700 Duval St.

For more Womenfest information, and a complete schedule of events, just click here.

But even if you can’t plan a trip to attend the fabulous festival, I hope you can visit us soon and discover why our welcoming island of Key West, with its “One Human Family” philosophy, is the perfect destination for your next girlfriend getaway.

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