MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The annual Key West Hemingway Days are in full swing after taking a pause last summer due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The event, which runs through July 25, celebrates the life of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Key West resident with the Ernest Hemingway Look-Alike Contest at Sloppy Joe’s Bar, which was a frequent hangout for the legendary writer during his Key West years in the 1930s.READ MORE: Taste Of The Town: YOT Bar & Kitchen Offers Stepped Up American Dishes With The Emphasis On Fresh Seafood
There are plenty of papas roaming the streets of Key West; stocky, bearded men resembling Hemingway, looking to win the big prize and do good things for the community.
“That’s why I have been involved. I like things like charity and scholarships and things like that, but I have a good time too, trust me,” said David Douglas who won the look-alike contest in 2009.
This year is the 40th look-alike contest, which brings out guys that claim they look like the famed author. For them it is a heck of a party, and a ton of fun.
“A lot of great friendships are made from all over the country,” explained Douglas.
It’s also a great thing for Key West students because it’s a scholarship event.
“We raised the scholarships to $15-hundred this year,” said Douglas. “We gave out 15 of those, three of them went to Key West High School for students there to go to any school they want to.”READ MORE: Florida’s Back-To-School Sales Tax Holiday Starts Saturday
Douglas is a Houston, Texas electrical contractor who returns every year to participate in the premiere event which attracts tourists to the southernmost city where Ernest Hemingway lived, wrote, and fished.
Hemingway wrote several of his classics in his Whitehead Street studio including For Whom the Bell Tolls, Death in The Afternoon, The Green Hills of Africa, and To Have and Have Not.
Besides the look-alike contest, there are other events, including literary readings, an exhibit of rare Hemingway memorabilia, a street fair, and a spoof on the Running of the Bulls, the famed Pamplona event with look-alikes and manmade bulls parading down Key West’s Duval Street.
“It is important to everyone in the Keys. There is a lot of people who like to go there, money, lodging, It’s a big event similar to Fantasy Fest and dropping of the conch on New Year’s.”
There’s also a three-day marlin tournament in honor of Hemingway’s love for deep-sea fishing.
The Hemingway Look-alike winner will be picked Saturday the 24th at Sloppy Joes.MORE NEWS: Section Of Turnpike Closed Due To Overturned Tanker Truck, Fuel Spill
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