KEY WEST (CBS Miami/FKNB/AP) – Men with long white beards will wander the streets of Key West this weekend for the annual Hemingway Days celebration. Only one will take the top honor at the “Papa” Hemingway Look-Alike Contest.
The competition is the crowning achievement of stocky men who grow their beards and dress-up to look like Ernest Hemingway, the famous author who called The Conch Republic his home during the 1930s.
More than 125 look-alikes (some that are repeat contestants) registered for the three-night competition at Sloppy Joe’s Bar with hopes of receiving the title of “Papa”.
Even television chef Paula Deen’s husband, Michael Groover, is among the finalists.
Among the judges are former winners including last year’s winner, Greg Fawcett. Fawcett is a North Carolina investment banker who won the title after 10 tries.
The look-alikes demonstrated “For Whom the Bull Tolls”, Saturday, during the “Running of the Bulls,” an offbeat spoof of the famed annual run held in Pamplona, Spain.
The event is a parody of Hemingway’s novel, “For Whom the Bell Tolls”.
The Key West version is much safer. It includes a “herd” of five fake bulls on wheels that roam the streets while the look-alikes parade through historic downtown.
Hemingway Days aren’t just for the men, women get in on the tributes and contests too.
A Scottish woman won the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition.
Carol Farrelly of Edinburgh earned $1,500 for “Telephone Man,” announced Friday night as the best among 1,197 U.S. and international submissions.
Lorian Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway’s granddaughter, said Farrelly’s story impressed judges for its subtlety and nuance. It recounts a boy’s futile fantasies about a superhero saving his disintegrating family.
The festival ends Sunday, the 114th anniversary of the author’s birth.
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