It seems as though there is never a shortage of activity on Key West. And while the end of 2013 quickly approaches, the events keep on coming. One of the events that is near to my heart that comes to a close on November 30th is the Key West Fishing Tournament, sponsored by Dream Catcher Charters, Inc; this tournament was founded in 1965 and has been going strong ever since. Anyone fishing in the Florida Keys can enter this seven month long tournament. For those us us with the need for speed, from November 3 to 10 Key West will once again host the World Championship Powerboat Races; come on down to see these amazing boats run the race course through the harbor at lightning fast speeds. On December 7th is the Key West Christmas Parade down Duval Street. And we then close out the year with our diverse New Year’s Eve celebrations where revelers gather downtown to see the Conch Shell, the Wench, or the Drag Queen drop at midnight. So no matter when you visit our island Paradise, you will find as much action or relaxation as you are looking for.
- Key West “Bight’ Before Christmas” Holiday Celebration - Live holiday music, games for the kids, holiday cheer and a chance for photos with Santa highlight this event along the historic harbor walk linking colorful seaport restaurants, bars and businesses at the Key West Bight. Created as a gift to the community, the gala is produced by the Key West Bight Preservation Association and tenants of the Key West Bight.
- ART! Key West! – features the best and freshest artists and venues alongside veteran and legendary established artists and galleries that have become the very fabric of art in Key West. Highlights of the three day, island-wide, art festival include Giants in the City, a display of monumental inflatable sculptures at Key West’s Truman Waterfront, and the unveiling of murals by selected artists in nine massive windows of the landmark Custom House Museum, 281 Front St. In addition, teams of Key West artists are to create large-scale street murals in five locations during the festival. Performance art, sculpture, interactive art, and musical performances are scheduled into the lively and coordinated art walk. Contact: Marky Pierson 305-619-2275.
Monthly Artisan Market - Held in conjunction with the three-day, island wide Art Key West festival, the new monthly artisan market is to be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Restaurant Store parking lot. The event is to give residents and visitors alike a chance to shop fresh and local as the parking lot at 1111 Eaton St. is transformed into a showcase of art, photography and unique local handicrafts and gifts made exclusively in the Keys in one convenient location. Entertainment includes a singer and songwriter showcase, local authors, Key West Fringe theater performances, chef demonstrations, kid’s activities and live street art murals. Guests will be able to taste and buy local specialties, and enjoy concessions, beer and wine. Guests are encouraged to BYOB (bring your own bags). Contact: Sean Krikorian 573-619-2200.
“The Messiah” - As many as 90 singers from around the Florida Keys participate in the annual performance of George Frideric Handel’s holiday masterpiece. Directed by Dean Walters, the 31st consecutive production is to be staged at Key West United Methodist Church at the corner of Eaton and Simonton streets, and admission is free. Performance starts at 8 p.m. Contact: 305-296-2392.
December 1 – April 30
Key West Art & Historical Society presents: Tennessee Williams, The Playwright & the Painter - Chiefly known as a playwright, Tennessee Williams also had an artistic flair for painting. To mark the 30-year anniversary of his death, the Custom House is exhibit a number of Williams’ paintings revealing a different facet of his life and his talents. Custom House Museum is located at 281 Front Street, and open daily 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., closed Christmas. Contact: 305-295-6616.
December 1 – March 31
- Key West Art & Historical Society presents: Key West Collects, Anything Goes - Taking inspiration from the famous Cole Porter musical, the Custom House will display a wide array of knickknacks, curios, ornaments, trinkets, baubles, tchotchkes and artwork owned by members of the local community. Their unique and quirky collections will be showcased alongside a narrative from the owners. Custom House Museum is located at 281 Front Street, and open daily 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., closed Christmas. Contact: 305-295-6616.
- Susann D’Antonio Wax Works at Frangipani Gallery - Wax Works, a new show at Frangipani Gallery by Susann D’Antonio is a winding path traveling from the abstract to semi-realistic as an exploration of encaustic painting in both 2 & 3 D. There will be two artists’ receptions, one on Sunday Dec 1, 12-4 p.m. as part of ArtKeyWest! and one on Friday December 6, 6-9 p.m. as part of the Upper Duval First Friday Art Stroll. Contact: Fran Decker 305-849-1581.
- Christmas Tree Lighting at Bay View Park – 6PM at Bayview Park, Key West, FL 33040. 6:00 PM TO 7:00 PM. Phone: 305-294-2587. Santa will be there to give out candy canes and hear what the wishes of the little ones are. Come out and hear the HOB Band and get in the spirit! Please contact Maria Ratcliff 809-3881 for additional information.
- Jazz at Unity – presents an intimate concert at 7pm with renown jazz guitarist Joshua Breakstone, fresh from his 50th! successful tour of Japan. Joining him bassist Joe Dallas and vocalist Melody Cooper. Tickets $20 available in advance at 305 296 5888 ( yes you can use a credit card ), at the Unity bookstore or at the door Unity of the Keys 1011 Virginia St.
- Key West Fringe Theater presents: Cock - COCK, by Mike Bartlett, is a brilliant and blackly hilarious look at love, betrayal, and our desire to control and possess that which we love, especially when it seems threatened. Bartlett does a masterful job navigating the “love triangle” waters, approaching issues with wit, then rationale, and finally desperation, as the writing reaches a force that is shattering. The provocative title references the play’s brute focus that suggests to-the-death battles of penned animals. Show time 8 p.m. at the Studios of Key West, 600 White Street. Visit website for dates and tickets. Contact: 305-296-0458.
- Disney’s “The Little Mermaid Jr.” – Playing at the Key West High School auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5 and 6, and at 2 p.m. Dec. 7 and 8. The 60-minute musical is based on the 2008 Broadway production and the 1989 animated feature film. Keys Kids has two separate casts of children, with more than 85 stars in each production. “If you love the animated Disney movie ‘The Little Mermaid,’ your child will be enchanted when real characters put this classic tale to song and dance,” said Keys Kids Musical Director Nora Revelin. This classic Disney title contains all the songs from the Academy Award-winning animated feature film, as well as three new songs from the Broadway show. “The Little Mermaid Jr.” takes place in a magical kingdom beneath the sea, where a beautiful young mermaid named Ariel longs to leave her ocean home to live in the world above. But first she’ll have to defy her father, the king of the sea, escape the clutches of an evil sea witch, and convince a prince that she’s the girl with the perfect voice. Tickets are available at MacArthur Music, or by calling 305-294-9329, or at the door one hour prior to curtain time. They cost between $10 and $15, with a discounted family ticket for four also available. For more information, call 305-509-1370, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.keyskidskeywest.com.
December 6, 13
Historic Lighted Inn Tours - Discover the history and holiday spirit of Key West by touring beautifully decorated historic inns. Participants can visit the inns on their own each evening or in conjunction with a holiday trolley tour presented by Old Town Trolley Tours. Visit website for ticket information.
- Fort Taylor Pyrate Invasion - The Fort Taylor Pyrate Invasion brings together pirates, entertainers and artisans from all over the world in an effort to raise funds for the benefit of Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park.
TRIKW Swim-Bike-Run in Paradise - Presented by Pat Croce’s Charlie Mac’s, this running event is expecting to host a maximum of 1,000 participants and some of the sport’s best known triathletes; TRIKW allows you to bask in the warm weather and the waters of the Atlantic Ocean while the rest of the country is experiencing winter. Olympic and Sprint distances. Email: email@example.com.
- Key West Christmas Parade – 7pm The island city shows its holiday spirit with this annual hometown parade. Featuring marching groups and motorized and nonmotorized floats, the festive procession traditionally draws entries from churches, civic organizations, businesses and neighborhood and school groups. Starting at Truman Avenue and White Street, it proceeds down Truman to Duval, where it takes a right and continues on to Eaton Street. Contact: 305-809-3881.
Key West Writers Bloc presents: Book Signing Event - From 2-5 p.m., at Smokin’ Tuna Saloon, 4 Charles Street, Old Town Key West. More than 30 notable and award winning authors, all in one place, including Rodman Philbrick, Jeremiah Healy, Sandy Balzo, Miriam Auerbach, Lucy Burdett, Jill Zima Borski, Peggy Butler, Robert Coburn, Jane Dawkins, Michael Haskins, Wesley Sizemore, Elizabeth Warren, Shirrel Rhoades, Bill Lorraine, Jane Newhagen, Rusty Hodgdon, Reef Perkins, Ben Harrison, Chuck Van Soye, Hal Howland, Dale Dapkins, Suzie Byrd, Terry Schmida, Mandy Miles, Chuck Meir, Liz Stauffer, Dirk Wyle, Barbara Fox, David Sloan, Letty Nowak, Connie Gilbert and Jonathan Woods. A portion of book sale proceeds benefit the Key West Library book-buying fund. Contact: Michael Haskins 305-304-2349 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
December 8 – April 26
18th Annual Sculpture Key West - This stunning annual art exhibit showcases the work of leading contemporary sculptors at the 56-acre Fort Zachary Taylor State Park and the Key West Garden Club at West Martello Tower. Contemporary sculptures enhance the land and seascapes. Visit Web site for more information. Contact: 305-295-2800; Email: email@example.com.
- Found Footage Festival - The Found Footage Festival, the acclaimed touring showcase of odd and hilarious found videos, will make its first-ever appearance in Key West. The Found Footage Festival is a one-of-a-kind event showcasing videos found at garage sales and thrift stores and in warehouses and dumpsters throughout North America. Curators Pickett and Prueher host each screening in-person and provide their unique observations and commentary on these found video obscurities. From the curiously-produced industrial training video to the forsaken home movie donated to Goodwill, the Found Footage Festival resurrects these forgotten treasures and serves them up in a lively celebration of all things found. Festival begins at 7 p.m., at Tropic Cinema, 416 Eaton Street; tickets are $12 and are available at the door or online. Contact: Nick Prueher 347-255-7350 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Schooner Wharf Bar 23rd Annual Lighted Boat Parade - Lighted and decorated vessels from rowboats to tall ships proceed around Key West’s Historic Seaport and harbor areas. Parade is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Holiday revelers can watch and applaud from bars, restaurants and resorts in and around the Historic Seaport. Contact: 305-292-3302.
- Christmas on the Sheriff’s Animal Farm - From 1-3 p.m., kids and adults can visit the furry, fluffy and feathered residents of the Animal Farm and get a photo taken with Santa. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm is situated at the county’s detention center just outside Key West at 5501 College Road. This event is free and open to the public. Contact: 305-293-7300.
Southernmost Christmas Tree Celebration - Holiday revelers enjoy free conch chowder and then board Conch Tour Trains to proceed to the continental United States’ Southernmost Point to set up the southernmost Christmas tree at sunset overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The event is an annual community thank-you party presented by the Monroe Association for ReMARCable Citizens. The fun starts at 3 p.m., at 1401 Seminary St. Contact: 305-294-9526.
- Discovery Saturday Educational Series: Rascally Wreckers - Presented by the Florida Keys Eco Discovery Center, this family-friendly and educational series invites kids in kindergarten through fifth grade from 10-11 a.m. to play games and make crafts while learning about a new topic of interest and the marine ecosystems of the Keys. Discovery Saturday is held the third Saturday of every month. Pre-registration is recommended. The Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center is located at 35 East Quay Road on the Truman Annex waterfront in Key West. Admission is free and free parking is available.
- Holiday Shopping at Monthly Artisan Market - Held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Restaurant Store parking lot, this monthly event is to give residents and visitors alike a chance to shop fresh and local as the parking lot at 1111 Eaton St. is transformed into a showcase of art, photography and unique local handicrafts and gifts made exclusively in the Keys in one convenient location. Entertainment includes a singer and songwriter showcase, local authors, Key West Fringe theater performances, chef demonstrations, kid’s activities and live street art murals. Guests will be able to taste and buy local specialties, and enjoy concessions, beer and wine. Guests are encouraged to BYOB (bring your own bags). Contact: Sean Krikorian 573-619-2200 or Email: email@example.com.
54th Annual Key West House & Garden Tours - Presented by the Old Island Restoration Foundation, the annual self-guided tours showcase festively dressed Key West homes and gardens. December tours are from 4-7 p.m., both evenings. Tickets are $30 and proceeds benefit the Old Island Restoration Foundation’s museums, collection and education, grant and scholarship programs. Contact: 305-294-9501.
Key West Dachshund Walk - Frost-free Key West isn’t a winter wonderland during the holiday season, but it may become a “wiener wonderland” when about 200 dachshunds and their owners take a New Year’s Eve stroll through the island’s picturesque downtown. The annual Key West Dachshund Walk, set for noon Monday, Dec. 31, provides an informal, family-friendly prelude to nighttime New Year’s Eve revelry. Spectators can watch the fun and meet the canine participants on Fleming Street between Whitehead and Duval streets. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- New Year’s Eve Shoe Drop Celebration - The Southernmost City celebrates with a descending 6-foot red high heel shoe carrying drag queen Sushi at the Bourbon Street Pub/New Orleans House complex, 724 Duval St. Seconds before midnight, the high heel bearing a lavishly gowned and coiffed Sushi is to be lowered from the second-story balcony of the complex toward the cheering crowds below. As midnight strikes and the New Year officially begins, she will land and gleefully pop the cork on a ceremonial bottle of champagne.
New Year’s Eve: Pirate Wench Drop at Schooner Wharf - For piratical partiers, a New Year’s Eve salute to Key West’s rowdy seafaring roots is scheduled at the island’s Historic Seaport. At midnight, a winsome pirate wench is to descend from the top of the mast of the tall ship America 2.0 as cannon blasts welcome 2014. A dove release is to follow. Scallywags in attendance can expect live music, dancing and festivities until 4 a.m., without a cover charge, at the Schooner Wharf Bar, 202 William St.
New Year’s Eve: Conch Shell Drop at Sloppy Joe’s - The arrival of 2014 is to be heralded on the island’s Duval Street with the “drop” of a gigantic manmade conch shell, the symbol of the Florida Keys, to the flat roof of Sloppy Joe’s Bar, 201 Duval. Thousands of spectators gather on Duval for the annual gala, emceed by a rooftop host starting at 10 p.m. and featuring dancing in the street and a countdown to midnight recorded on a huge clock. At midnight, the shell descends and cheers erupt. Stellar Mojo Band is to perform on Sloppy Joe’s indoor stage, rounding out the revelry. No reservations or tickets are taken, but a door charge is required to party inside the bar.
New Year’s Eve: A Key Lime Wedge “Drop” - At the Ocean Key Resort & Spa, 0 Duval St. on Key West Harbor, plans call for a huge replica of a Key lime wedge to splash down into a larger-than-life margarita glass as crowds welcome the new year on the property’s Sunset Pier. VIP tickets are available that include entrance into a private dining area for an abundant buffet dinner and four-hour open bar. At 10:30 p.m., the public will be welcomed to enjoy a free performance by Key West’s Big Bawdy Burlesque Show. Contact: 305-295-7005.
- Impromptu Classical Concerts of Key West presents: Prima Trio - The Prima Trio triumphed at the 2007 Frischoff Chamber Music Competition winning the coveted Grand Prize as well as the Gold Medal in the Senior Division. The Palm Beach News described the trio as, “a virtuosic tour de force, a whirlwind of joy.” Performance at 4 p.m. at the San Carlos Institute; tickets $20. Email: email@example.com.
January 9 – 19
- 32nd Annual Key West Literary Seminar - The 2014 seminar includes two independent sessions (Jan. 9-12 & 16-19) exploring the theme “The Dark Side.” Writing workshops are scheduled Jan. 12-16. Advance registration is required. A stunning lineup of celebrated authors who are to explore the mystery, crime and literary thriller genres includes Carl Hiaase, Scott Turow, Les Standiford and many more. Contact: 888-293-9291.
- South Florida Symphony presents: Tropical Beats, Tantalizing Musical Excursions! - Celebrate the Symphony’s 2013-14 Season with “The Humanity of Music,” Program includes a piano trio and Blue Door String Quartet; Karl Goldmark: String Quartet in B Flat, Opus 8; Ellen Zwilich: Septet for String Quartet and Piano Trio. Tickets $150 per person, performance at Tennessee Williams Cabaret, starts 5:30 p.m. Afterward at 7 p.m., enjoy dinner at the Marriott Beachside Ballroom for a Starry Night in All White decadent evening of entertainment. Tickets and details available online. Contact: 954-522-8445.
- 54th Annual Key West Historic House & Garden Tours - Tour a series of elegant and unique private homes of Key West, ranging from exquisite restorations to creative renovations, and the interior design that complements their architecture and adds a unique Key West flavor. The January house tour is set for 4-8 p.m. both evenings. Proceeds help benefit the Old Island Restoration Foundation. Contact: 305-294-9501; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
January 18 & 19
- Ninth Annual Florida Keys Seafood Festival - A family-friendly event with local fresh Keys seafood, drinks, marine-related crafts, youth activities, and live music. Free admission; hours open from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Bayview Park at Truman Avenue and Jose Marti Drive. Fresh Florida Keys seafood and the commercial fishermen who harvest it are to be celebrated. The seafood festival’s menu features fresh grilled Florida lobster, Key West pink shrimp, fried fish, stone crab claws, smoked fish dip and more — including traditional regional favorites such as savory conch chowder, conch salad, sweet flan and Key lime pie. All seafood is to be prepared and served by local fishermen and their families. Soft drinks, beer and wine also are to be available for purchase. In addition, plans call for nonstop entertainment by local musicians. Contact: Vicki 305-872-9026; Email: email@example.com.
- Premier Racing presents: Key West Race Week - The annual challenge features world-class competition and yachting teams from more than 12 countries and 24 American states. More than 100 racing yachts compete for class championships in this international regatta. To view the action, fans can book seats on spectator boats ranging from excursion catamarans to historic tall ships or from land at Key West’s Atlantic-front restaurants, resorts and beaches. Contact: 781-639-9545; Email: KWInfo@premiere-racing.com.
- Key West Half Marathon & 5k Run - The perfect place to run in the middle of winter? Key West, during the Key West Half Marathon! Recognized by Runners World magazine as one of the 10 great half-marathons of the winter season, the run has attracted more than 1,000 annual participants and follows a 13.1-mile course through Old Town Key West past historic landmarks and the island’s scenic waterfront. Contact: Barbara Wright 305-240-0727; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Impromptu Classical Concerts of Key West presents: Shen/Berkovsky Piano Duo – Pianist Jiayin Shen and Michael Berkovsky have been collaborating since 2004 playing four-hands piano repertoire at both large and private venues throughout the U.S. and Canada. Performance at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Duval Street. Tickets are $20 per person. Email: email@example.com.
- Kelly McGillis Classic International Women & Girls’ Flag Football Championship - Women and girls from around the United States and the world gather in Key West for hard-fought sporting action. Each year dozens of teams from the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Europe are invited to compete in the challenge, named for and endorsed by the critically acclaimed actress and former Key West resident who starred in “Top Gun” and “Witness” among other films. Contact: Daashia Cochran 305-834-0801; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Key West Food & Wine Festival – Top chefs and restaurateurs showcase their culinary creativity and the Keys’ indigenous cuisine in a tasty schedule of events for food lovers. Attendees also can participate in food-related adventures during the savory celebration. Tickets go on sale Nov. 1. Contact: 800-474-4319; 305-304-5218; Email: email@example.com.
- Stock Island Village Marina King Mackerel Tournament - Big king mackerel migrate to the waters around Key West each winter, and a fittingly large prize awaits the winner of this challenge. The angler who weighs in the heaviest mackerel, also known as kingfish, is to go home with $10,000. Contact: Lee Murray 305-296-0364; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 20th Annual Key West Master Chefs Classic - Local restaurants vie for top honors in three categories; appetizers, entrees and desserts. Participants get to taste all the food made at this event while judges pick the winners. Held at Westin Key West Resort & Marina Pier at 245 Front Street, open from 4-7 p.m. Event proceeds benefit the nonprofit ReMARCable Citizens (MARC). Tickets are to be available Nov. 1, at keystix.com. Contact: 305-294-9526, ext 25.
Monthly Artisan Market - Held in conjunction with the Key West Food and Wine Festival, the monthly artisan market is to be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Restaurant Store parking lot. The event is to give residents and visitors alike a chance to shop fresh and local as the parking lot at 1111 Eaton St. is transformed into a showcase of art, photography and unique local handicrafts and gifts made exclusively in the Keys in one convenient location. Entertainment includes a singer and songwriter showcase, local authors, Key West Fringe theater performances, chef demonstrations, kid’s activities and live street art murals. Guests will be able to taste and buy local specialties, and enjoy concessions, beer and wine. Guests are encouraged to BYOB (bring your own bags). Contact: Sean Krikorian 573-619-2200; Email: email@example.com.
January 27 – February 2
- Key West Classic Regatta - Modeled after a centerpiece Caribbean-style event, Antigue Race Week, the new Key West Classic Regatta is to feature historic tall ships as well as modern wooden and replica vessels in a week-long sailing event. Contact: Capt Joshua Rowan at 305-394-4389.
- South Florida Symphony presents Master Concerts Series: Double Speak and Hidden Meanings - The South Florida Symphony is a unique gathering of professional symphonic musicians. Performance starts at 7:30 p.m. at Tennessee Williams Cabaret Theatre. Program includes Liszt: Hamlet: Symphonic Poem No. 10; Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3; Christopher Taylor, piano: Shostakovich: Symphony No. 10. Contact: 954-522-8445.
January 31 – February 1
- Cuda Bowl - Shallow water flats anglers and guides are invited to hook-up and fight their barracuda rivals. Event is to be headquartered at Hurricane Hole Marina, Stock Island. Prizes and trophies are to be awarded for top angler and guide in light tackle spin and fly divisions. Contact: Loren Rea at 305-744-0903; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Impromptu Classical Concerts of Key West presents: Alexander String Quartet - The Alexander String Quartet has performed on five continents, securing standing among the world’s premiere ensembles for over three decades. They were the first American quartet to win the London International String Quartet Prize. The New York Times described their playing as, “vibrant, probing, assured.” With two violins, a viola anc cello. Performance is at 4 p.m. at the San Carlos Institute. Tickets $20 per person. Email: email@example.com.
February 7 & 8
- Ragnar Relay Florida Keys – Miami to Key West - A 199 mile running event that will push you as far south as you can go in the continental U.S. Starting in Miami and finishing in Key West, this relay offers runners a unique opportunity to run near the oceanside and across the southern end of the state of Florida. Along the way you run across multiple bridges including the Seven Mile Bridge, hopping from Key to Key, passing through popular destinations such as Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon Key and Big Pine Key. The race (and your stamina) will wrap up in the tropics of the southernmost city in the continental U.S., Key West. Clear your calendars for this one, this is a running race you don’t want to miss! Contact: 877-837-3529.
February 14 & 15
- 54th Annual Key West House & Garden Tour - Tour a series of elegant and unique private homes of Key West, ranging from exquisite restorations to creative renovations, and the interior design that complements their architecture and adds a unique Key West flavor. The February tours are offered 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Proceeds help benefit the Old Island Restoration Foundation. Contact: 305-294-9501; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 15 & 16
- GardenFest Key West and Beer Garden - Enjoy food, fun, libations and more. A native plant, local and recycled art sale, workshops and presentations also round out the event, open each day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Email: email@example.com.
- Impromptu Classical Concerts presents: Trio Solisti – Praise abounds for this exciting violin, cello and piano trio. Notable critic Terry Teachout of The Wall Street Journal proclaimed Trio Solisti the successor of the Beaux Arts Trio as the outstanding chamber music ensemble of its kind. Tickets are $20. Performance at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church door at 4 p.m. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Key West Fringe Theater presents: A Delicate Balance – Agnes and her passive husband, Tobias, and Claire, her alcoholic sister, have settled in for a homey evening of genteel sniping in their well-to-do suburban home when they are confronted by invaders. First are their best friends, Harry and Edna, who are seized by a nameless terror and have decided to move in with them. Not far behind is Julia, their daughter, on the run from her fourth marriage. Their life is upended as the dialogue stings and tickles. Show time 8 p.m., at Custom House, Custom House, 281 Front Street. Visit website for show dates and tickets. Contact: 305-295-7676.
- South Florida Symphony presents: Tropical Beats, Tantalizing Musical Excursions! - Celebrate the Symphony’s 2014 Season with “Cello Spirit,” a recital by SFSO’s principal cello and member of the Blue Door String Quartet; Arthur Cook, cello; Music of Bach & Kodaly; evening includes recital and dinner at Key West Yacht Club; tickets $95 per person, available online. Contact: 954-522-8445.
- Monthly Artisan Market - The monthly artisan market is to be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Restaurant Store parking lot. The event gives residents and visitors alike a chance to shop fresh and local as the parking lot at 1111 Eaton St. is transformed into a showcase of art, photography and unique local handicrafts and gifts made exclusively in the Keys in one convenient location. Entertainment includes a singer and songwriter showcase, local authors, Key West Fringe theater performances, chef demonstrations, kid’s activities and live street art murals. Guests will be able to taste and buy local specialties, and enjoy concessions, beer and wine. Guests are encouraged to BYOB (bring your own bags). Contact: Sean Krikorian 573-619-2200; Email: email@example.com.
March 1 – June 30
- Key West Art & Historical Society presents: Marky Pierson, Night Visions in Technicolor - Emerging local artist and graphic designer Marky Pierson is to exhibit new paintings and designs focusing on three distinct categories: ‘Conch Night’ Series featuring the Hemingway House, Custom House and Curry Mansion; ‘Squishy Femme’ Series explores soft, squishy and everything womanly; ‘Graphic Design’ Series features graphic posters of iconic Key West images and large format paintings inspired by vintage tourism posters. Custom House Museum is located at 281 Front Street, and open daily 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Contact: 305-295-6616.
- Keystock Music Fest - Crowds are expected to gather at the Truman Waterfront for the daylong event featuring several musical performances. Keystock is sponsored by Lazy Lakes RV Resort, Howard Livingston and the Key West Rotary Club. Festival hours are noon to 9:30 p.m., with gates set to open at 11 a.m. No coolers or chairs are allowed. Contact: Lazy Lakes 305-745-1079; 305-292-7729.
March 28 & 29
- Fifth Annual Florida Keys Ocean Festival & Waterfront Craft Show - The unique marine environment of the Keys island chain, which includes the continental United States’ only living coral barrier reef, is to be celebrated at this festival. Presented by Florida-based Mote Marine Laboratory, the family-friendly free-admission Ocean Festival is set for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Scheduled attractions include live music, arts and crafts, kids’ activities including face painting, educational displays, food and beverages, a silent auction and more. The festivities take place at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center, located on Key West’s Truman Waterfront past the end of Southard Street. The visitor center for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, the facility houses exhibits that showcase the region’s unique ecosystem including a living reef exhibit created by Mote Marine Laboratory. A fishing seminar is planned for kids ages 5-11 that features instruction and barge fishing. To participate, youngsters must register online. A Tuna Trot 5k run/walk is also to be a part of the festivities.
- Mote Marine presents: 2nd Annual Tuna Trot Race for the Reef 5K Run/Walk - A Key West Southernmost Runners sanctioned 5K race, the event starts at 8 a.m. from Eco-Discovery Center, 32 East Quay Road, Truman Waterfront Old Town. Race day registration is at 7 a.m., adults $30, age 13-18 years $20, 12 & under free with an adult. Awards are to be given to Male and Female Overall Winners, Masters (over 40) winners and more. Walker Awards will go to the first five male and female walkers. First 200 participants are to register receive a free t-shirt. Register online at active.com. Also, a Kids Fun Run follows after the race, along a half-mile course. Contact: Roberta 305-292-7963; Jason 305-393-6022; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mote Marine presents: 5th Annual Florida Keys Ocean Festival and Waterfront Craft Show - Located at the Eco-Discovery Center, 32 East Quay Road, Truman Waterfront Old Town, the festival is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., for all ages and celebrates the Keys’ marine environment. It is a fundraiser for Mote Marine Laboratory’s Coral Reef Restoration Programs. Highlights include kids’ activities, a fishing seminar for kids — the first 100 kids under age 12 who are registered online receive a free rod — live entertainment all day, more than 70 arts, crafts, food vendors & exhibitors as well as a silent auction. Howard Livingston and the MM 24 Band are to headline the day of fun. Contact: Roberta 305-292-7963; Jason 305-393-6022; Email: email@example.com.
- Monthly Artisan Market - The monthly artisan market is to be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Restaurant Store parking lot. The event is to give residents and visitors alike a chance to shop fresh and local as the parking lot at 1111 Eaton St. is transformed into a showcase of art, photography and unique local handicrafts and gifts made exclusively in the Keys in one convenient location. Entertainment includes a singer and songwriter showcase, local authors, Key West Fringe theater performances, chef demonstrations, kid’s activities and live street art murals. Guests are able to taste and buy local specialties, and enjoy concessions, beer and wine. Guests are encouraged to BYOB (bring your own bags). Contact: Sean Krikorian 573-619-2200; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Impromptu Classical Concerts of Key West presents: Chamber Orchestra Kremlin - Chamber Orchestra Kremlin is renowned for violins, and their music will take you soaring. The New York Times states, ” . . . warm, full-blooded and virtuosic playing with colorfully shaped, gleaming phrases.” Performance is at 4 p.m., at Tennessee Williams Theater. Tickets $30 and $50, and are to be available online. Contact: Box office 305-295-7676; Email: email@example.com.
April 1 – September 30
- Key West Art & Historical Society presents: Key West or Bust, A History of Tourism - The Florida Keys have historically been an alluring travel destination for travelers around the world. With the onset of the Great Depression in the 1930s, tourism in Key West was the lynchpin in warding off bankruptcy. This exhibit explores the history of tourism in the Florida Keys from the 1920s until the 1980s while focusing specifically on transportation, accommodation, travel brochures and postcards. Custom House Museum is located at 281 Front Street, and open daily 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Contact: 305-295-6616.
- Key West Fishing Tournament Kick-Off - Fifteen target species and $5,000 in cash prizes highlight this open-to-the-public event, heralding the beginning of more than eight months of exciting Keys fishing. Cash awards await individual participants who catch the heaviest dolphin, kingfish, cobia, blackfin tuna, mackerel, mutton snapper, wahoo, mangrove snapper and grunt, and for boat teams that score the most releases of tarpon, permit, bonefish, barracuda, marlin and sailfish. Junior anglers under age 15 can also fish. Entries in the kickoff also are eligible for the Key West Fishing Tournament, which runs through Nov. 30, 2014. Contact: Rob Harris 305-587-6718; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Migration Mania - The Great Egg Hunt and Wild Bird Show! From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., this family-friendly educational event creates awareness and appreciation for the birds that visit the Garden. Enjoy educational activities, egg hunts, arts and crafts, games, live bird presentations and much more. Admission is $5 per person, Botanical Garden members are admitted free. Email: email@example.com.
April 6 – November 30
- Key West Fishing Tournament - More than 40 species of fish are targeted during these months, with divisions for men, women, junior anglers (ages 10 to 14) and Pee Wees (under 10 years old). The Key West Fishing Tournament strongly encourages the release of game fish. All participating anglers receive certificates noting their catches and qualify for a variety of prizes. Contact: Rob Harris 305-587-6718; Doris 305-295-6601; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 12 & 13
- Key West Garden Club presents: Annual Garden Tours - Between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day, the Key West Garden Club features five delightful gardens to explore. Tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased at any of the individual gardens or at the Garden Club at West Martello Tower. Visit website for more information. Contact: 305-294-3210.
April 15 – July 31
- 6th Annual Key West Art Garden - The cost of admission brings visitors an added value and wealth of beauty with 19 sculptures, each made of recycled materials, and some interactive, placed throughout the garden from local contemporary artists. Garden is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Email: email@example.com.
April 23 – 27
- Key West Sailfish Championship - This four-day challenge is to offer up to $50,000 for first place prize, $15,000 and $10,000 to second- and third-place anglers, respectively. Early entry angler fee per angler is available. Visit website for details. Contact: Mike Weinhofer 305-395-3474.
April 25 – 27
- Key West Fringe Theater presents: Conch Republic (The Musical) - The story of those historic “mouse that roared” moments in April 1982 when Key West declared its independence from the United States. It’s a rollicking musical tale of the Conchs taking on the Feds in one of the greatest PR stunts ever. Show time 8 p.m., at The San Carlos Institute, 516 Duval Street. Visit website for tickets; three nights only! Contact: 305-295-7676.
- Key West Paddleboard Classic - During this ocean paddleboard race, participants enjoy a challenging 12-mile course over crystal blue waters, circling Key West through scenic mangroves, passing by the Historic Seaport district and more. The race around Key West is open to paddlers on standup paddleboards, prone boards, outrigger canoes, dory boats, surf skis and kayaks. Other weekend beach and paddling activities are planned. Contact: Sue Cooper 305-304-4259; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Key West Songwriters’ Festival - The 19th-annual showcase of musical magic features America’s foremost performing songwriters, with concerts staged in intimate, audience-friendly island settings. Contact: Charlie Bauer 305-304-0814.
May 30 & 31
- Dolphin Masters Invitational - In this challenge headquartered at Conch Republic Seafood Company, more than $13,000 awaits the angler scoring the highest total combined weight of three dolphin catches. Many additional prizes await other top anglers, and there is no limit on the number of participating boats. Registration is Friday, fishing Saturday. Contact: John Stuempfig 305-304-7674 ; Email: email@example.com.
- Key West Pride - Key West shows its Pride every day, and this is your chance to be a part of the celebration! This five day celebration includes a film festival, dance parties, drag shows, bike tours, clothing-optional pool parties, water excursions, a street fair, Pride Pageants, and a ‘Pride in Our Community’ Parade down Duval Street. Contact: Guy Ross 305-294-4603; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Key West Island Swim: FKCC Swim Around Key West - Long distance solo swimmers and relay teams of two to six people, with or without fins, can compete in this United States Masters Swimming-sanctioned even, a 12.5-mile swim clockwise around the island of Key West. The clockwise route around the island takes swimmers through the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, ending where they began at Smathers Beach. Open for all age groups. A swim meet is held June 15. Contact: Lori Bosco 305-809-3562; Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Key West Gator Club Dolphin Derby - A grand prize of $5,000 cash is to be awarded the boat team with the largest aggregate weight in dolphin during the derby’s two fishing days, with teams allowed to enter one qualifying fish each day. Second- and third-place teams will earn $2,500 and $1,000, respectively. Individual anglers can compete for trophies, prizes and cash totaling more than $15,000 in the tournament’s divisions for male, female and junior participants. Contact: Greg Oropeza 305-304-1348; Email: email@example.com.
- Mel Fisher Days - This annual celebration brings together Mel Fisher fans and treasure-hunting enthusiasts in a celebration of the anniversary of Fisher’s discovery of the shipwrecked Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Atocha. Contact: 305-296-6534.
- Del Brown Permit Tournament - Anglers fly-fish on the flats in a challenge that honors the late angling pioneer Del Brown, who caught and released more than 500 permit off the Keys. Professionals and guides are allowed to compete as well. Contact: Loren Rea 305-360-6969; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Drambuie Key West Marlin Tournament - Anglers ply the waters once fished by novelist Ernest Hemingway, vying for $50,000 in guaranteed cash prizes. Held in conjunction with Key West’s annual Hemingway Days, the event awards $25,000 to the first-place team. Teams can enter one fun fish (dolphin, tuna, wahoo or released sailfish) per day to add to their point total. Contact: Tim Greene 305-304-0317; Email: email@example.com.
- Hemingway 5K Sunset Run & Paddleboard Race - This is the original and oldest ongoing 5K Run in Key West and takes place as part of the the annual Hemingway Days Festival. The race course is a scenic flat course that runs past Key West’s most famous landmarks including the Ernest Hemingway Home, the iconic Southernmost Point and the famous Green Parrot Bar! The Lazy Dog Paddle Board Race will take place before the 5K and kicks off at 6PM. The 4 mile paddle board challenge will start at the Beach by the Southernmost Beach Cafe. Visit website for more details. Contact: Barb Wright at 305-240-0727; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Tropical Heat - Tropical Heat offers All Male-All Adult fever-pitch revelry on the island whose openness and respect for diversity have made it a world-renowned gay vacation destination. The festival includes more than a dozen intriguingly decadent events ranging from drag shows to themed pool parties and gatherings at island clubs. Contact: 305-294-4603; 800-535-7797; Email: email@example.com.
August 28 – September 1
- Fifh Annual Key West Brewfest - More than 150 beers and micro-brews are on to be tap at this “tasty” annual event that benefits the charitable efforts of the Key West Sunrise Rotary Club of the Conch Republic. Events from beer dinners, beer brunches, happy hour parties, pool parties, late-night parties, seminars and the Signature Tasting Festival Event are some of the great activities on tap. Contact: 800-354-4455; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Womenfest Key West - Womenfest offers a wide range of activities guaranteed to appeal to a broad range of interests. Golfing with palm trees and iguanas, clothing-optional pool parties, a sizzling dance club scene, and women-only water excursions that range from jet skis to dolphin watching all promise to pique the interest of the more adventurous while film, live music, and special comedy shows offer the opportunity to enjoy paradise at a slower pace. All of this on a tropical island that is “close to perfect but far from normal.” Contact: 800-535-7797; 305-294-4603; Email: email@example.com.
- Robert James Sales S.L.A.M. Celebrity Tournament - In the first of three tournaments in the annual Redbone Celebrity Tournament Series, also called The Trilogy, anglers target tarpon, permit and bonefish to achieve the coveted “flats grand slam.” The event raises funds for the fight against cystic fibrosis. Contact: Susan Ellis 305-664-2002; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 42nd Annual Phil Peterson’s Key West Poker Run - It’s an All-American event as motorcycle enthusiasts from around the U.S. travel the Keys’ scenic Overseas Highway – designated Florida’s only All-American Road – from mainland Florida to Key West to raise money for charity. Winner takes all, and can win a new Harley-Davidson Motorcycle or cash. Stops are arranged throughout the Keys with a final celebration in Key West. Poker Run stops are to be open for riders starting Thursday through Sunday, Sept. 21; Keys-wide events planned for the entire week. Contact: Drew Peterson 305-235-4023; Email: email@example.com.
- SoMo Marathon & Half Marathon - Presented by Pat Croce’s Rum Barrel, this event is one of a kind! Imagine running through the southernmost island in the United States while enjoying a break from the ordinary. The Southernmost Marathon & Half promises just that- 26.2 or 13.1 miles of ocean and gulf views, as well as iconic Key West landmarks. A full weekend of events include the race and a Sunday Paddle Board race for the Special Olympics of Monroe County. Contact: 305-766-5284; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 35th Annual Fantasy Fest - This outrageous 10-day costuming and masking celebration features flamboyant costume competitions including one for pets, promenades, street fairs and a grand parade that stars marching groups, island bands and lavish floats. More than 40 masquerade contests, themed parties, parades and other spectacles are to challenge the creativity of mask and costume designers. Contact: 305-296-1817; Email: email@example.com.
October 17 & 18
- Heroes and Villains 5k Run/Walk - Be super, be evil, be AWESOME and get your run on! Dress up as your favorite Superhero or Super Villain and run, walk or fly to the finish line. Prizes are awarded for most creative, best group, scariest and funniest characters. Winner medals and awards are to given for overall male and female winners, masters (40+) male and female winners. Register online. Race starts at 6 p.m. The race begins and ends at The Reach, A Waldorf Astoria Resort and ends with a luau. Come for the run, stay for the fun!” ? Contact: Beth Moyes 305-747-8563; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Key West World Championship Race - High-speed offshore powerboats race in Key West Harbor and surrounding waters to continue Key West’s longstanding tradition in this 32nd annual challenge, known internationally as the Indianapolis 500 of powerboat racing. A portion of the 6.5-mile course runs through Key West Harbor, meaning smooth water where racers can achieve speeds above 140 mph and provide fans breathtaking displays of skill and power. Contact: 305-296-6166.
- Third Annual Key West International Latin Arts Festival - Experience “Vientos del Alma,” a celebration of traditional Latin American cultural arts featuring dance and percussion workshops, artists’ exhibits, poetry readings, wine tastings, culinary surprises and a spectacular theatrical concert. Vientos del Alma (Winds of the Soul) highlights include: InnerNacionalSound’s Christian Monzón and Valerie Carr, renowned Miami-based Tango Times dance luminaries Roxana Garber and Oscar Caballero and an outstanding international line-up of local and visiting musicians, folk dancers and thrilling performers. Visit website for details and tickets; events to be held at San Carlos Institute. Contact: 305-394-0808.
November 12 – 16
- Third Annual Key West Film Festival - Showcasing films that exhibit excellence in storytelling, the festival’s lineup is to feature screenings and special events hosted at landmark venues throughout Key West, including the Tropic Cinema and San Carlos Institute. The four-day program is to include several films from multiple genres and categories as well as social events with filmmakers, actors and film lovers. Contact: 941-527-9385; 305-295-9112.
For more information about things to do and see in our island city, go to our Key West Web Site.
Island Genn – Your Key West Concierge