The legacy of Ernest Hemingway, who lived and wrote in Key West throughout the 1930s, is to be recognized Tuesday through Sunday, July 17-22, during the 32nd annual Hemingway Days. The popular festival celebrates the literary accomplishments, angling prowess and Key West lifestyle of the Nobel Prize–winning author.
Events are to include a look alike contest for erstwhile Ernests, an awards ceremony that caps the internationally recognized Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition, a one-man play delving into the legendary author’s life and motivations, three days of marlin fishing and a tongue-in-cheek “Running of the Bulls.”
The announcement of the winners of the annual short story competition, directed by critically acclaimed author and Hemingway granddaughter Lorian Hemingway, is set for Friday, July 20. The event typically takes place at Casa Antigua, 314 Simonton St., Ernest Hemingway’s first Key West residence.
Other literary offerings include the “Voices, Places, Inspirations” evening of author readings at Wyland Galleries, 623 Duval St.
Those with a physical rather than literary resemblance to Hemingway can compete in Sloppy Joe’s “Papa” Hemingway Look-Alike Contest. Past winners choose the new “Papa” from approximately 125 stocky, bearded hopefuls at Sloppy Joe’s Bar, 201 Duval St., a watering hole frequented by the author. Preliminary rounds are scheduled Thursday and Friday, July 19 and 20, with the final round Saturday, July 21 — the 113th anniversary of Ernest’s birth.
The “Papas” also enliven other festival events including Saturday’s infamous “Running of the Bulls” outside Sloppy Joe’s, featuring manmade bull replicas, and a Hemingway birthday celebration complete with cake.
Those who share Ernest’s passion for angling can enter the 2012 Key West Marlin Tournament. With three days of fishing and substantial cash prizes for top catches, the tournament begins Wednesday, July 18.
Hemingway is to take center stage when actor and playwright Brian Gordon Sinclair presents “In Deadly Ernest,” the final one-man play from his renowned six-part “Hemingway On Stage” series.
Other festival attractions include Sloppy Joe’s Arm Wrestling Championship, a 5k sunset run and a lively street fair on Key West’s Duval Street. Visitors also can tour an exhibition of rare Hemingway memorabilia at the Key West Museum of Art & History, 281 Front St., and the author’s former home at 907 Whitehead St.
Hemingway once wrote, “Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today.” Today, book that flight to Key West and enjoy the festivities in Hemingway’s honor (and visit gorgeous beaches) by clicking here.