From the most fabulous Pride party to Key Lime festivities: There’s plenty going on in the Florida Keys

Family Fun
This Family Fun story spotlights a family-focused attraction, event or place that enriches the Florida Keys for visitors of all ages

March 2024: A host of eclectic and enticing events will entertain and educate visitors to the Florida Keys & Key West this spring and summer. From fancy dress to food, fetes and street parades, underwater musical performances to boat parades, events are guaranteed to be colourful and memorable.

Highlights include:

Taste of Key West, 25 March, Key West

Travellers eager to savour the flavours of the Florida Keys can do so at the 29th annual Taste of Key West, a tempting tasting celebration set for Monday, 25 March.  The eclectic open-air event takes place at Truman Waterfront Park, overlooking Key West Harbour at the end of Southard Street. Visitors can look forward to tropical and Caribbean-influenced cuisine, and fresh-off-the-boat local seafood as well as European fare. Local chefs craft their cuisine to celebrate the Florida Keys’ seafaring heritage, subtropical climate, and multicultural atmosphere. General admission to Taste of Key West is free. To enjoy the featured food and libations, attendees can purchase a plate, commemorative wine glass or pint beer glass and tickets to be exchanged for their choice of samples.

42nd annual Conch Republic Independence celebration, 19-28 April, Key West

Fans and friends of the Florida Keys’ Conch Republic can celebrate the irreverent “nation's” 42nd birthday with activities including a pirate ball, sunset boat parade, “independence day” ceremony at the USCGC Ingham floating museum ship, reenactment of the Great Sea Battle of the Conch Republic, the so-called World's Longest Parade, drag races for female impersonators on Duval Street and more. The annual Conch Republic Independence Celebration commemorates the Keys’ symbolic 1982 secession from the United States and reinvention as the eccentric republic.

Earth Day activities, 20 April, various events & locations

Several Florida Keys events take place on 20 April to mark Earth Day prior to the global commemoration held on 22 April. They include a cleanup on Stock Island in the Lower Keys; Key West Southernmost Runners' 26th annual Earth Day 5k Run/Walk; and “Ocean Fest” presented by Mote Marine Laboratory to showcase the Keys’ treasured marine environment while raising money for Mote’s coral reef research and restoration programs.

Key West Pride, 5-9 June, Key West

Celebrate Pride on the tropical island of Key West, legendary for its laid-back style and its open and accepting atmosphere. Visitors can anticipate daytime pool parties and late-night dance parties, on-the-water excursions, a retro disco gala, street fair, and a high-energy parade featuring a section of Key West’s famed sea-to-sea rainbow flag.

 Key Lime Festival, 3-7 July, Key West

Key West's annual Key Lime Festival celebrates the world’s most sensational citrus with a bountiful array of festivities across the island where Key lime pie was conceived. Over five days, lovers of the lime can indulge in a full menu of activities including a Key lime pie drop competition from the top of the Key West Lighthouse; a Key lime cocktail sip and stroll; Key lime brunches and dinners; and the world-famous Key lime pie-eating championship on 4 July at Southernmost Beach Cafe on Duval Street.

40th annual Underwater Music Festival, 12-13 July, the Lower Keys

Festivities kick off with a free welcome event and tour on 12 July at Mote Marine on Summerland Key to learn about coral restoration efforts. Then on Saturday, join costumed underwater "musicians" to dive and snorkel Looe Key Reef, an area of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary about six miles south of Big Pine Key. Participants sway to ocean-themed tunes broadcast by a local radio station and piped underwater through special speakers, while costumed divers play faux musical instruments in the undersea environment. The unique concert advocates coral reef preservation.

Hemingway Days, 16-21 July, Key West

Ernest Hemingway look-alikes, writers, anglers, and fans of the late author’s work are set to gather in Key West. The festival honours the legacy of the American literary giant who lived and wrote on the island for most of the 1930s. Events include the legendary Hemingway Look-Alike Contest, the wacky Running of the Bulls, presentations, prose and poetry readings, a commemoration of the 125th anniversary of Hemingway's 21 July birth, a museum exhibit, a three-day marlin tournament, a 5k run and paddleboard race, and a street fair.

Underwater Music Festival Credit: Florida Keys News Bureau

Underwater Music Festival Credit: Florida Keys News Bureau

This article was updated on March 14, 2024 at 7:40 AM