Ernest Hemingway is one of the world's most famous authors, and for many years, he made his home in Key West, Florida. Every July, Key West (and the world) honors him with the annual Hemingway Days.
Whether it was driving an ambulance in a war zone or running with the bulls in Pamplona, everything Ernest Hemingway did was larger than life. For many years, he brought that energy to Key West, Florida, where he would write in the morning (completing many of his masterpieces, including The Sun Also Rises and To Have and Have Not), his afternoons chasing down the marlin, tarpon and other game fish that would help inspire his Pulitzer and Nobel prize winning book The Old Man and the Sea, and his evenings drinking in such legendary Key West restaurants and watering holes like Sloppy Joe's (a personal friend of Hemingway's.) Having done so much to help make Key West such a sought after spot for island vacations, it's only natural they would return the favor by throwing a tremendous party in his honor. Known as "Hemingway Days," this year's event, which will draw over ten thousand people from around the globe, will happen July 15th through the 20th.
"Until you've seen a couple hundred men in their sixties walking through Key West and its summer heat with full beards and wearing sweaters, you don't really know what true fandom is," said Norman Vogel, owner of the Roof Top Cafe, located just around the corner from both the original location of Sloppy Joe's, as well as it's current, more famous location. "They even schedule their own version of the running of the bulls, but this time you have to make it down Duval Street while avoiding several dozen Ernest Hemingway look-a-likes!"
Other events that are scheduled to celebrate the man and the myth include a couple of events that would be near and dear to his heart: a deep sea fishing tournament and a rum tasting. There are also several different events that honor the literary legacy of this great author, including tours of his home and performances of his short stories. The highlight of the week, however, is always the annual "Papa" Look-a-like contest. Every year, a new winner is crowned who has the beard, the eyes, and the charm that makes it look like Ernest has come back to town for one more of his island vacations. Come join his spirit and legacy this July in Key West, Florida.
For more information on the Hemingway Days, please visit their website: www.hemingwaydays.com
For more information on the Roof Top Cafe, please visit their website: http://www.rooftopcafekeywest.com/
Jack Terry is a travel and lifestyle writer who has spent several years living in Key West.