Key West Celebrates Ernest Hemingway Days in July

Hemingway Days: A Tribute to the Author

Ernest Hemingway fans and look-alikes gather together in Key West for the 37th Annual Hemingway Days, July 18 – 23, 2017. It’s a Key West celebration of the legendary author’s work and lifestyle. Events include literary readings, a theatrical premiere, short story competition, fishing tournament, 5K Run and Paddle Board Race, The Running of the Bulls, Sloppy Joe’s Look-Alike Contest and birthday “party” commemorating Ernest Hemingway’s July 21st birthday. Here are a few of the festivities and Hemingway happenings we think you’ll like:

Sloppy Joe’s 37th Annual Hemingway Look-Alike Contest

Thursday, July 20th Preliminary Rounds Begin

You won’t see double here as more than 120 Ernest Look-Alikes gather at Sloppy Joe’s Bar for the Hemingway Look-Alike Contest. This contest is over a period of three days:  Preliminary rounds are set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, July 20 and 21, with the finals at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.  Former contest winners participate by judging the preliminary round.  Sloppy Joe’s is jam-packed with Papa’s – an event full of Hemingway love and look-alikes.  Visit to for Look-Alike Contest information.

Running of the Bulls Event

Saturday, July 22nd at 1pm

This has to be the wackiest event during the Hemingway Days Celebration.  The Hemingway Look-Alikes, past winners and current contenders, dressed in their Pamplona best gather on Duval Street outside of Sloppy Joe’s Bar for this offbeat stroll/parade and much safer version of the “Running of the Bulls.”  It’s a parade of Papa’s on Duval!

Hemingway 5K Sunset Run/Walk & Paddle Board Race

July 22nd 3pm – 10pm

This is the 25th Anniversary of the oldest on-going road race in Key West.  The Hemingway 5K Sunset Run & Paddle Board Race allows the sport enthusiasts to participate and celebrate Hemingway by land and sea. named it one of the top 10 international destination races to turn into a vacation,” said event organizer Barbara Wright.

The festivities begin and end right here with us at South Beach!

Lazy Dog Paddleboard Race is to kick off at 6 p.m.  The 3-mile ocean course begins and ends with us at South Beach at the Southernmost Beach Cafe, 1405 Duval Street.

The 5k run/walk is to begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Southernmost Point in the continental United States.

Registration:  You can download forms and register online or a registration booth will be open from 3-7pm on race day outside Southernmost Beach Café. Race packets can be picked up there.

Fees to enter the race: Entry fee is $45 per person for either race or $85 per person for both

Post Race Party:  A post-race awards party is scheduled on South Beach at Southernmost Beach Café with food, libations and raffles.

Southernmost Beach Resort is a proud sponsor of this event. Learn more about Hemingway 5K Sunset Run/Walk & Paddle Board Race

Celebrating the Spirit of Hemingway: Papa’s Pilar Rum

New in town is Papa’s Pilar Rum. This Rum Distillery recently opened at the Corner of Greene and Simonton Streets.  It is here that they chose to craft the rum named in Papa’s honor.  There are tastings and tours along with a wealth of information on the history of rum, the life of Hemingway and the art of making the world’s finest spirits!   Guided Tours are every hour and tickets are $10 per person.  Visit Papa’s Pilar Rum and raise a glass to Papa!

Visit the Hemingway Days Schedule of Events to learn more about the exhibits, programs, tournaments, and events and don’t’ forget visit the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum while touring the island.

Enjoy the Hemingway celebrations and sharing your favorite cocktail, story or fun photos with us by using the hashtag #somolife.


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