2023 Hemingway Days

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Key West

Hemingway Days to Honor Ernest in Key West July 18-23, 2023

Ernest Hemingway look-alikes, writers, anglers, and fans of the late author’s work are to gather in Key West Tuesday through Sunday, July 18-23, 2023, for the annual Hemingway Days celebration. The festival honors the legacy of the American literary giant who lived and wrote on the island for most of the 1930s.

Scores of stocky, bearded men resembling Ernest are to compete in the annual Hemingway® Look-Alike Contest at Sloppy Joe’s Bar, 201 Duval St., a frequent hangout for the legendary writer during his Key West years.

Other festival events include prose and poetry readings, the wacky “Running of the Bulls,” presentations on Ernest and his influence, a commemoration of the 124th anniversary of his July 21 birth, a museum exhibit of rare Hemingway memorabilia, a three-day marlin tournament recalling his passion for deep-sea angling, a street fair celebrating Key West’s lively spirit, a 5k run and paddleboard race that salute Hemingway’s sporting interests, a walking tour, and the announcement of the winner of the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition coordinated by Ernest’s author granddaughter.

Ernest Hemingway wrote many of his best-known works in the second-story studio that adjoins his former Key West home — now a museum — at 907 Whitehead St. Among them were “Death in the Afternoon,” “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” and “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber.” Hemingway even used Depression-era Key West as the setting for his widely acclaimed novel “To Have and Have Not.”

Both his literary prowess and his exuberant Key West lifestyle are commemorated during Hemingway Days.

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