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Unmissable Events at Hemingway Days 2024: Look-Alikes, Running of the Bulls, and More

We don’t need too many excuses to throw a party, and celebrating the man, myth and legend Ernest Hemingway is a perfectly reasonable reason. Held every July, Hemingway Days is an annual festival held in Key West, Florida, celebrating the life and work of the famous American author who lived in Key West during the 1930s.

Ernest Hemingway sitting on a bench in front of a book shelf

Hemingway Days not only celebrates the literary achievements of Ernest Hemingway but also highlights his adventurous spirit and diverse interests, from fishing to bullfighting. The festival brings together fans, scholars, and locals in a lively tribute to one of the most influential writers of the 20th century.

If you’re crunched for time, trying to make the most of your Keys trip AND the Festival weekend– Try the Hemingway Experience. This 4 hour adventure takes you into his beloved home, progressive dining around on dishes and drinks that he loved, and exploring the town that mused two of his most famous works.

a group of people posing for the camera

But getting into the nitty gritty, the entire long weekend event includes a variety of activities and contests that reflect Hemingway’s interests and legacy. Here’s a detailed line-up at what you can expect during Hemingway Days:

Key Highlights of Hemingway Days

  1. Hemingway Look-Alike Contest:
    • One of the most popular events, this contest attracts numerous participants who compete to see who best resembles Ernest Hemingway. The competition is held at Sloppy Joe’s Bar, a favorite hangout of Hemingway’s during his Key West years.
  2. Running of the Bulls:
    • Inspired by Hemingway’s love for Spain and the famous Pamplona festival, this quirky and humorous event features participants dressed as bulls and matadors running down Duval Street.
  3. Literary Events:
    • Readings, book signings, and presentations by notable authors and Hemingway scholars take place throughout the festival. These events provide insights into Hemingway’s works and his influence on literature.
  4. Short Story Competition:
    • The Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition, established by Hemingway’s granddaughter, encourages aspiring writers to submit their best short stories. Winners are announced during the festival.
  5. Fishing Tournament:
    • Reflecting Hemingway’s passion for deep-sea fishing, the Key West Marlin Tournament offers anglers the chance to compete for prizes and trophies.
  6. 5K Sunset Run and Paddleboard Race:
    • These sporting events cater to fitness enthusiasts and include a scenic run through Key West and a paddleboard race along the shoreline.
  7. Museum Tours:
    • The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum offers special tours and events, providing an opportunity to explore Hemingway’s residence, see his writing studio, and learn about his life in Key West.
  8. Cultural and Historical Exhibits:
    • Various galleries and museums in Key West showcase exhibits related to Hemingway’s life and times, including photographs, memorabilia, and artifacts.

Attending Hemingway Days offers a unique way to experience Key West’s vibrant culture and history. The island’s tropical charm, combined with the festivities, creates a lively and memorable atmosphere for visitors. Whether you’re a literature enthusiast, an aspiring writer, or simply looking for a fun and engaging event, Hemingway Days has something to offer for everyone

Want schedule specifics for Hemingway Days 2024? We’ve got ’em…

a group of people standing in a garden with Ernest Hemingway House in the background