Hemingway Days Festival
Key West, FL – San Francisco residents who are heading to Key West in Florida should not miss out on the Hemingway Days Festival.
This is a very fun event that world travelers, and those who live there, should be sure to visit.
But there is one main requirement.
And that is to look like Ernest Hemingway, the literary giant.
The Hemingway Days Festival takes place every year at Sloppy Joe’s bar, one of the best watering-holes in the Key West area. You’ll find it at 201 Duval Street. Don’t be surprised to see around 150 white-haired and white-bearded gents who want the prized title of “Papa.”
And make no mistake, the title of “Papa” is a much-coveted one. Entrants come from far and near to take part. This year alone, there was an entrant from Norway.
And winning on the first attempt is not allowed. This year’s winner, 64-year-old Matt Gineo, for instance, had to enter the competition 12 times before he won. Now that’s patience!
Thursday and Friday nights around July 19 and 20 (depending on the year) see the preliminary events. Then on the Saturday night, the award winner is chosen. The following day, “Papa” has his picture taken at the Hemingway home in front of the author’s famous typewriter (wonder what he’d think of today’s modern computers?)
This year the Hemingway Days Festival took place Tuesday through Sunday, July 19-24, 2011.
But it’s not just the lookalike part of the competition that the Hemingways take part in. There is more.
Take for instance the “Running of the Bulls” event. This honors one of Hemingways favorite sporting events.
Hemingway fans will know that Ernest Hemingway–winner of both the Nobel and Pulitzer prize–lived in Key West, Florida back in the 1930s. Hemingway spent his mornings writing in a small studio to the back of the home he lived in at 907 Whitehead Street.
Then in the afternoon “Papa” went fishing, drinking or socializing with his many local buddies.
While you’re here, be sure to check out the ongoing exhibition at the Key West Museum of Art & History at the Custom House on 281 Front St.
Here you’ll find on show some of the history of the literary legend’s Key West years. You’ll see rare family photographs, papers, documents, and a plethora of memorabilia that belonged to Hemingway and which illustrates his personal life in the island city.
Other events during Hemingway Days in 2011 that this author was invited to were:
— the look-alike contest for stocky white-bearded men resembling Hemingway
— an awards ceremony for a literary competition directed by author and Hemingway granddaughter, Lorian Hemingway
— a commemoration of the 112th anniversary of Ernest’s July 21 birth,
— a one-man play exploring the literary legend’s life and motivations,
— a museum exhibit of rare Hemingway memorabilia, a zany “Running of the Bulls”; and
— a three-day marlin tournament recalling Hemingway’s devotion to the deep-sea sport.
World travelers heading for Key West in Florida should not miss the unique Hemingway Days Festival.
San Francisco residents can fly to Key West by flying to Miami and driving through the Keys in Florida to Key West. Deals can be found online at www.kayak.com
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See video and photos of this very fun event on the left-hand side of this article.
Recommended products for your trip to Key West and the Hemingway Days Festival:
If you need to power up in Key West, or indeed anywhere in the world, then you can’t go wrong with any of these devices:
The Fatcat Solar Charger holds 2-3 times the power needed for a mobile phone, iPod or PDA. That translates into your being able to recharge several devices at once or just using your electronics for an extended period of time. It can be recharged on 5-10 hour of sunlight or with the included dual voltage AC charger. Includes adaptor tips for all your electronics. Don’t leave home without it! Price $99.85
Power Monkey Charger. This one is pocket-sized and charges all portable electronics. It has a huge power reserve (40 hrs for iPods, 96 hrs for phones, 1600 pictures for digital cameras) and it holds its chrge for up to a year. Can be recharged in 150 countries. Available in several colors. Costs $69.
The Grundig Shortwave/AM/FM radio helps you stay connected worldwide. You can tune into local news and music or world broadcasts with this Grundig radio. It’s ultra-thin, palm-sized and has a built-in alarm clock. Works on two AAA batteries and comes with earplugs. $29.85
Both products available at www.magellans.com