Renowned for its “One Human Family” philosophy of unity and equality, Key West will welcome visitors to its annual Pride festivities Wednesday through Sunday, June 2-6. Presented by the Key West Business Guild, events will showcase the diversity and enticing atmosphere that make the southernmost city a top vacation destination for LGBTQ visitors.
Fans and friends of the Florida Keys’ Conch Republic can celebrate the irreverent “nation’s” 39th birthday with activities including a pirate adventure, traditional shrimp boil, sunset boat parade, “wearable art” fashion show, sailing excursions and a gourmet dinner and absinthe tasting. The Conch Republic Independence Celebration is scheduled Friday through Sunday, April 16-25.
Don’t miss Key West’s eagerly anticipated “Pride Follies,” scheduled May 22 at the Key West Theater. The production's format is similar to an old-fashioned vaudeville-type show, with a wide array of local talent to entertain audiences. Acts are likely to range from vocals to dancing programs — and maybe even a saucy burlesque performance.
On Jan. 22, 1912, when Ruby Whitlock was eight years old, she watched the arrival of the first train that ever traveled down the Florida Keys Over-Sea Railroad tracks from mainland Florida to Key West. The railroad stretched over 100 miles out into open water in a fantastic ribbon of bridges and track.
Fans of Key West’s Fantasy Fest can enjoy two streaming events that showcase the masking and costuming festival’s creativity and spirit — despite the cancellation of the Oct. 16-25 in-person celebration to guard against coronavirus spread. A virtual variety show and mini-parade, scheduled Oct. 16 and Oct. 24, raise money for local nonprofit organizations.
Conservation-minded divers and snorkelers can enjoy a unique underwater concert that supports reef protection Saturday, July 11, in the Florida Keys — home to the continental United States' only living coral barrier reef. The Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival takes place at beautiful Looe Key Reef in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
Longtime Key Westers remember famed singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett when he lived on the island, savoring the lifestyle that helped inspire his songs. As the world slowly emerges from COVID-19 shutdowns and the Florida Keys prepare to reopen to visitors June 1, Buffett's music can evoke the spirit of Key West and memories of a more carefree time.
Fans of the fluted, pink-lined conch shell displayed their pucker power Saturday, March 7, during Key West's quirky annual Conch Shell Blowing Contest. Participants ranging from kids to seniors to groups attempted to coax the most impressive sounds from their “instruments” — with one woman even tootling parts of melodies including Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody."
Key West’s sunset is famed for its spectacular colors over the Gulf of Mexico, and for the nightly Mallory Square celebration that salutes it. Sunday, March 8, the South Florida Symphony presents a full-scale musical tribute to the colorful phenomenon: the Key West world premiere of John Gottsch’s orchestral symphonic poem titled “Sunset.”
Each year, some 650 amateur and professional astronomers from around the world gather in the Lower Florida Keys for the Winter Star Party. Its main attraction is the incredible number of southern constellations, comets and stars visible from the region — virtually the only place in the continental United States where they can be seen.