Ernest Hemingway lookalikes, writers, anglers and fans of the late author’s work converge on Key West July 18 to 23 for the annual Hemingway Days celebration that honors the legacy of the literary giant who lived and wrote on the island for most of the 1930s.
Events include a look-alike contest for Hemingway hopefuls, prose and poetry readings, the wacky “Running of the Bulls,” presentations on Ernest and his influence, and a three-day marlin tournament recalling his passion for angling.
Scores of stocky, bearded men resembling the writer are to compete in Sloppy Joe’s Hemingway Look-Alike Contest at Sloppy Joe’s Bar, 201 Duval St., a frequent hangout for the writer during his Key West years. Preliminary rounds are set for 6:30 p.m. July 20 and 21, with the finals at 6:30 p.m. July 22.
Held in conjunction with the festival is the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition coordinated by Ernest’s granddaughter, author Lorian Hemingway. For information visit shortstorycompetition.com.
Other highlights include literary readings at 7:30 p.m. July 19 at the Key West Woman’s Club, 319 Duval St. Poetry lovers can discover Hemingway’s little-known verse at a July 21 evening reading at the 700 Fleming St. library.
Aspects of the author’s life and legacy are spotlighted during “Hemingway & Harry’s Way,” a presentation by Ted Geltner, who penned “Blood, Bone and Marrow: A Biography of Harry Crews.” The program takes place July 18 at the Key West Art & Historical Society’s Custom House, 281 Front St., also the site of a July 20 Hemingway symposium.
Those who share Ernest’s love of angling can compete for $50,000 in cash prizes in the July 19 to 22 Havana Club Key West Marlin Tournament.
Additional festival events include a 5K Sunset Run/Walk and Paddleboard Race; a DVD premiere of the 2015 performance of “The Hemingway Suite” in Havana, Cuba; a daylong street fair on Duval Street; and Sloppy Joe’s annual Arm Wrestling Contest.
Hemingway fans also can visit his former Key West home at 907 Whitehead St., now an attraction open for tours. The property will be the site of “To Have and Have Another,” a July 23 evening presentation and soiree hosted by the Key West Art & Historical Society.