Events and Festivals in Key West

Rudy Molinet, Broker/Owner, Marquis Properties Realty Marguis Properties Realty - Key West Real Estate Rudy Molinet
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There's always something exciting to do in Key West.

Rudy Molinet, Broker/Owner
Marquis Properties Realty
933 Fleming Street
Key West, FL 33040

Direct: 305-240-1090
Fax: 305-768-0808

Key West Events and Festivals.

Besides all the usual attractions Key West offers, the Southernmost City hosts a wide variety of festivals, weekends, and events that appeal to a wide variety of travelers, visitors, and locals alike. Whatever your lifestyle or special interest – boat racing, Harley Davidsons, Jimmy Buffet or Hemingway, Key West celebrates you!

The rich Caribbean tradition of Goombay Festival ushers in Fantasy Fest each year with a street party featuring island arts and crafts, music and food in the Key West's historic Bahama Village neighborhood.

Key West's Goombay Parade
Goombay's Junkanoo Parade Ushers in Fantasy Fest
Key West's most famous event is Fantasy Fest, a wild, week long extravaganza of events and parties, culminating in an all-out costume parade and street party on the Saturday night closest to Halloween. If Mardi Gras style celebrations are for you, Fantasy Fest is not to be missed.

Womenfest. This September week long festival has attracted gay women to Key West from all over the world for more than 20 years. A wide range of activities, including wild clothing-optional pool parties, a hot dance club scene with steamy, competitive bull riding competitions, women-only water excursions, films, live music, and comedy shows appeal to a wide range of interests.

Nothing is more Key West than Jimmy Buffet and his tropical tunes celebrating our tropical island lifestyle. Each November, Parrotheads in Paradise (why isn't it Parrotdise?) attracts several thousand fans to Key West to live the tropical thrills his music describes.

Is boat racing your thrill? November's Key West World Championship Race, also called the "Indianapolis 500 of powerboat racing", will make your heart race for five days. Locals take their boats out on the water to watch the rip-roaring races and you can charter a boat to do the same at any of the city's marinas. Or find a place along the shoreline: bleachers are set up along the waterfront at Fort Zachary Park ($15 /seat). You can also join the crowds at Mallory Square for a free spot to watch. Another popular way to catch the trials, practices, and races is from a table at one of the waterfront restaurants at the Hilton Hotel, Ocean Key, or Pier House. A lazy Sunday brunch is ideal for watching the races.

Pirates in Key West
Pirates Aboard a Key West Schooner
"Avast Ye, Me Hearties!" Since the days of moonscuppers and wreckers, Cayo Hueso (Spanish for Isle of Bones) has been a pirate's port of call on the American Main. Even recent years have found Key West at the center of the wrecking industry when modern day swashbuckling Cap'n Mel Fisher and his motley crew dived to the depths of Davy Jones Locker to pull up the doubloons from the Atocha.

Today an annual Pirates in Paradise Festival celebrates the city's maritime heritage with an emphasis on the life of swashbuckling buccaneers. Theatrical reenactments tell the tales – including the story of two famous female pirates -- and participants are invited to join in on the Pirate's Olympics and the Walk the Plank Championships. Usually held the first week of December.

January heralds one of Key West's most famous, yet most intimate festivals, the Key West Literary Seminar. Each year celebrates the literary heritage established by America's first celebrity writer, Ernest Hemingway, and continued by a host of writers who have called Key West home including Tennessee Williams, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Frost, John Hersey, and James Merrill. The Seminar which explores a different literary theme through lectures, panel presentations, readings, informal gatherings, and discussions draws a sophisticated international audience of readers who'd like to rub elbows with the next Ernest Hemingway, as well as established writers and those just starting out to write the great American Novel.

Key West Songwriters' Festival Poster
2009 Key West Songwriters' Festival Poster
Pridefest Key West: Diversity in Paradise, the nine day event that offers a wide variety of cultural and social events celebrating the incredibly diverse community of Key West. There are parties, house tours, concerts, games, awards, a film festival, forums, round table events, and did we mention parties!

Songwriters' Festival. This annual musical extravaganza features more than 100 performers in 30 plus shows during the five day festival traditionally held the last weekend of April.

One of Key West's wildest events takes in all of the Florida Keys. For more than 3 decades, Peterson's Harley Davidson of Miami has been sponsoring a Poker Run down the Overseas Highway. Bikers cruise the keys, making five stops to pick up cards and raising money for charity along the way. At the end of the run, Duval Street is closed to traffic and the street party begins!

Event Planning

Care to create your own special event in Key West? The southernmost city is a popular destination for weddings and corporate incentive travel events. We've Got The Keys will attend to all the details while you have all the fun!

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