The literary talent and vigorous Key West lifestyle of Ernest Hemingway are to be celebrated Tuesday through Sunday, July 19-24, on the island the Nobel Prize–winning author called home throughout the 1930s.
Hemingway Days 2011 includes a popular look-alike contest, a book debut and authors’ readings, an offbeat “Running of the Bulls,” a marlin tournament and the culmination of a short story contest directed by author and Hemingway granddaughter Lorian Hemingway.
Events begin Tuesday, July 19, with a book release party for “The Key West Bucket List” by Florida Keys writer David Sloan at The Porch, 429 Caroline St.
The festival’s leading literary offering is the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition winners announcement and awards reception. The reception is scheduled Friday, July 22, at Casa Antigua, 314 Simonton St., where Ernest Hemingway stayed during his initial 1928 visit to Key West. For information, visit www.shortstorycompetition.com.
Other literary events include “Voices, Places, Inspirations,” an evening of readings by acclaimed authors set for Wednesday, July 20, at Wyland Galleries, 623 Duval St.
Perhaps the most well-known event is the Hemingway look-alike contest. Approximately 125 stocky, bearded men resembling Ernest are to compete in Sloppy Joe’s “Papa” Hemingway Look-Alike Contest, a festival highlight now in its 31st year. The competition takes place at Sloppy Joe’s Bar, 201 Duval St., a watering hole frequented by Hemingway.
Preliminary rounds are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, July 21 and 22, with a celebration of the author’s July 21 birthday preceding Thursday’s contest. The winner will be chosen Saturday night by a judging panel of past winners. For more information and registration, visit www.sloppyjoes.com.
The “Papas” also take part in other festival activities, including Saturday’s “Photos with Papas” at noon and “Running of the Bulls” at 1 p.m. — an offbeat salute to Pamplona’s sporting challenge featuring man-made bulls.
Those who share Hemingway’s well-known passion for angling can compete in the July 20-23 Key West Marlin Tournament, offering cash prizes for top catches of marlin and other fish. For details, visit www.keywestmarlin.com.
Other events include an exhibit of rare Hemingway memorabilia at the Key West Museum of Art & History, 281 Front St., daily tours of the author’s former Key West home at 907 Whitehead St., Sloppy Joe’s Arm Wrestling Championship, a 5k race and a lively street fair on Key West’s Duval Street.
Event information: www.hemingwaydays.net
Key West visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
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