What to do in Florida: Hemingway Days start July 17, 2012

Hemingway Days Bull Run (credit: Andy Newman, Florida Keys News Bureau)

Hemingway Days Bull Run (credit: Andy Newman, Florida Keys News Bureau)

Florida Vacation Guide: Put Hemingway Days on your to do in Florida list

Key West is one of the unique places in Florida, that it has attracted notable celebrities over the years, one of them being author Ernest Hemingway. The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer lived in Key West during the 1930s, either writing in his studio on Whitehead Street or fishing in the sea and socializing in the local bars. His legacy is so strong to this day that an annual festival held in his honor, draws people to the island for everything from a look-alike contest and arm-wrestling challenge to a deep-sea fishing tournament. Hemingway Days  are run around his birthday, July 21st – this year commemorates the 113th anniversary.

Look-alike contest

The island’s streets are filled with stocky white-bearded men who descend on Sloppy Joe’s Bar on Duval St. to compete for the look-alike contest. The quirky competition has the bearded hopefuls dressing in safari garb and fisherman’s turtlenecks, all reminscent of Hemingway’s persona.

Literary Events

From readings to book signings, there are a number of events fashioned around the iconic author and his enduring works:

  • awards for the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition, run by the author’s granddaughter Lorian Hemingway
  • rare Hemingway memorabilia at the Key West Museum of Art & History, 281 Front St., and the author’s former home at 907 Whitehead St
  • a one-man play delving into the legendary author’s life and motivations

Bull Run

If you’re wondering where to go in Florida for a zany event, the tongue-in-cheek “Running of the Bulls” would be it. Picture white-beared men with red berets pushing fake bovines on wheels down Duval Street on a Saturday afternoon.

Three-day marlin tournament

From July 18-21, anglers target marlin, tuna and wahoo in memory of Hemingway’s devotion to deep-sea fishing, and, to compete for $50,000 in cash prizes. Along with an awards banquet, events for the 2012 Drambuie Key West Marlin Tournament, include an island pig roast and a fish fry.

Tell us…

Are you a Hemingway fan?

  • http://www.culturetripper.com Lesley Peterson

    I’ll be there! Currently reading To Have and Have Not. Looks a great lineup of events!

  • Holiday Tripper

    Is it your first time going? Hemingway’s home is a must!