Legendary singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett, who passed away Sept. 1 at age 76, is remembered and honored in Key West, the island where he developed his engaging tropical-flavored style. Jimmy discovered Key West in the early 1970s and it was his home for many years — inspiring classic tunes like the iconic “Margaritaville.”
On Labor Day 2013, Diana Nyad walked ashore onto Key West's Smathers Beach — becoming the first person to swim from Cuba to the Florida Keys without a shark cage. Keys Voices marks the 10th anniversary of Diana’s iconic feat with a look back at the challenges and perseverance that led to its accomplishment.
There’s no better way to celebrate the Florida Keys’ 200th birthday than with Key lime pie, the island chain’s luscious signature dessert — particularly if that Key lime pie is the world’s biggest! And there’s no better PLACE to celebrate the auspicious anniversary than at Big Pine Community Park, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.
There’s a wonderfully meaningful celebration coming up in Key West, and everyone who values equality, openness and diversity is invited to participate. It’s the 20th “birthday” of the island’s famed 1.25-mile sea-to-sea rainbow flag, and it will be marked with a three-night laser light show during Key West Pride 2023 — scheduled June 7-11.
Commemorate the Florida Keys’ bicentennial with a sunset celebration on the Middle Keys’ Old Seven Mile Bridge, a gala sea-to-table dinner in Islamorada, a family-style waterfront picnic in Key Largo, and Lower Keys festivities and fireworks featuring the creation of the world’s largest Key lime pie. All activities salute the Keys’ 200th birthday.
If you’ve spent time in the Florida Keys, you’re aware that Keys residents are generally easygoing and friendly. But unless you want to make them cringe, don’t ever say “kontch” — because the widely-used word “conch,” despite its spelling, is properly pronounced “konk.” Especially at the upcoming birthday party for the Keys’ Conch Republic.
Most people don’t know it, but Key West played a major role in the history of international air travel. In 1927, the island was the birthplace of one-time aviation giant Pan American Airlines. Actually, its aviation heritage dates back to 1920, when the pioneering Aeromarine Airways began America’s first official international airmail service.
Celebrate the bicentennial of the subtropical Florida Keys island chain throughout 2023, starting with the “200 Years of Paradise Kick-off Concert” and dazzling drone show Saturday, March 25, in Key West. Events salute the 200th anniversary of the Florida legislature’s founding of Monroe County, which contains the entire Keys, on July 3, 1823.
Conch shell blowing, a time-honored tradition, is Key West’s most indigenous form of musical expression. Every March, the island’s Conch Shell Blowing Contest draws dozens of entrants who demonstrate their “pucker power” by blowing through the conch’s fluted, pink-lined shell. The 2023 contest is set for March 4 at the Oldest House Museum.
During the Florida Keys’ colorful two-century history, the island chain at the southern tip of Florida has been shaped by individualists, visionaries, shipwreck salvagers and environmentalists. Today visitors can explore scores of intriguing sites in the Upper and Middle Keys that recall their presence and showcase the region’s rich and vibrant heritage.