Each night about two hours before the sunset people gather at Key West’s famed Mallory Square for the Sunset Celebration. Here you can watch the sun go down and the sailboats sail by while enjoying a carnival-like atmosphere with artists peddling their wares and street performers wowing you with their acts.
Sunset Celebration is a great place to buy that souvenir commemorating your visit to Key West before you head back home to reality. You will find many talented artists selling jewelry, clothing, photography, sketches and paintings, sculptures, candles, soaps, and much more.
You will also find many unique street performers at Sunset Celebration. Some of the more notable perfumers include high wire juggler Will Soto; Dale the sword swallower; guitarist and vocalist Mustafa; and Dominique the Cat Man. And if you are adventurous or just wondering what the future holds you can visit with one of the psychics working the festival. You can typically find an astrologist, a tarot card reader, a palm reader, or a hypnotist. I cannot say that I have ever visited one of these characters, but I am sure that it would at least be entertaining.
Feeling hungry? You will find an array of food carts selling juices, candy, pretzels, popcorn, and seafood too. When you do stop by, make sure to visit OJ Dave. He served fresh squeezed juices at the Sunset Celebration. He is also the festival manager and keeps things going. Tell him Island Genn said hello!
While the Sunset Celebration is now one of the most popular tourist attractions on the island of Key West, it was not until 1984 that these performers and artists were allowed to peddle their goods and perform for visitors. The Key West Cultural Preservation Society was formed to organize the vendors, leasing the area from the City and drafting specific guidelines that vendors must comply with. These rules help to uphold the artistic integrity of the Sunset Celebration and keep it from getting out of hand.
To see what else is happening on the island during your visit, check out our Key West Events Calendar to see other upcoming special events. For more information about the fun side of Key West… things to do and see in our island city, go to our Key West Web Site.
Before deciding where you are going to eat while visiting Key West or any of the Florida Keys, be sure to read my restaurant reviews; check out our restaurant review section of this blog.
Feel free to Email Me if you have any questions about Key West!!
Island Genn – Your Key West Concierge