Our LGBTQ-friendly island of Key West is known for its year-round subtropical weather, but temperatures are predicted to increase dramatically Wednesday through Sunday, Aug. 11-15.
Well, maybe not the actual temperatures, but islanders’ anticipation is definitely rising for the upcoming annual Tropical Heat celebration — an adventurous long weekend of all-male adult fun.
Tropical Heat (which is hosted by our amazing Key West Busines Guild) offers five days of sizzling happenings in the island city whose openness and respect for diversity have made it a world-renowned gay vacation destination.
The festival’s intriguing (and sometimes a bit racy) events range from pool parties to a sunset cruise to late-night gatherings at the island’s LGBTQ bars and nightclubs.
The official start of the heat wave is a kick-off party at the Island House Resort, 1129 Fleming St., at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 11. Attending the event is a great way to experience the resort’s enticing amenities, even if you’re not staying at the property.
Festival revelers can chill out on Thursday with an underwear (or swim attire of your choice) pool party starting at noon-ish at the Equator Resort, 822 Fleming St. Evening festivities will include a sunset catamaran cruise on the BluQ (which has a fabulous new crew, B.T.W.).
Later, prepare to get a bit sweaty with a sultry evening of lively parties held at various LGBTQ-friendly clubs, restaurants and bars.
Then, guys, get your favorite speedos or birthday suits ready to make a splash on Friday at the afternoon pool bash hosted by the Bourbon St. Pub, 724 Duval St.
Next, if you’re like me, a quick power nap may be in order.
You will need those extra Z’s in preparation for some frisky evening PARTAYS, including the Lusty Luau Party at Alexander’s Guesthouse, 1118 Fleming St., and the White Hot Island Nights Party at the Sidebar, 504 Angela St.
Saturday’s highlights include one of my absolute favorite events: the Equator Resort’s 13th annual Toga 3D Party at 7 p.m. with yummy hors d’oeuvres, libations (of course) and music with the talented DJ Kyd.
In addition, Equator will have raffles with fantastic prizes, including three-, five- and seven-night stays at the resort!
All proceeds will benefit the Monroe Association for ReMARCable Citizens, a local nonprofit organization.
The rambunctious revelries continue Sunday with an always hilarious noontime Drag Brunch at Mangoes, 700 Duval St., followed by a beloved island city tradition: the 4 p.m. tea dance at La Te Da, 1125 Duval St.
Later that evening, get your dancing shoes (or “dress flip-flops”) on again for this year’s closing soiree, aptly named “Last Dance,” at the Sidebar (which is part of the recently renamed and renovated Aquaplex). Be sure to check out the phenomenal new sound and light systems.
I recommend getting your Tropical Heat V.I.P. all-access wristbands ahead of time —they’re on sale now for $99 per person. But if you prefer, you can always pay individual event admissions at each venue.
Also, if you’re looking for a place to stay during the festivities, please check out the Florida Keys & Key West’s new accommodations booking engine at fla-keys.com/key-west/listings/lgbtq-accommodations/. It’s a great resource, whether you’re coming to Key West for Tropical Heat in August or for a chill-and-play getaway any time.
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