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Key West Welcomes New Year With “Sushi”

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(Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau)

(Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau)

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KEY WEST (CBSMiami/FKNB) — New Year’s Eve revelers celebrated the arrival of 2014 in Key West with four warm-weather takeoffs on the traditional “ball drop” in New York City’s Times Square — including the “drop” of a renowned female impersonator in a super-sized red high heel.

Thousands of people gathered on the island’s Duval Street outside the Bourbon St. Pub complex to watch the lavishly gowned drag queen Sushi “drop” in her high-heeled chariot for the 16th consecutive year.

Cheered by spectators ranging from couples to seniors and families, Sushi was lowered from the balcony of the complex as the new year arrived, popping the cork on a ceremonial bottle of champagne upon landing. Performances by female impersonators and other entertainers added to the merrymaking.

Revelers on lower Duval Street watched the “drop” of a gigantic manmade conch shell, the symbol of the Florida Keys, to the flat roof of Sloppy Joe’s Bar. The bar was once the favorite watering hole of author Ernest Hemingway, who lived and wrote in Key West during the 1930s..

New Year’s Eve merriment also saluted Key West’s seafaring heritage with the lowering of a costumed “pirate wench” from the top of a tall ship’s mast, and indigenous flavors with the “splashdown” of a replica Key lime wedge into a 6-foot-tall margarita glass.

Source: The Florida Keys News Bureau

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