Papa hits the 100 mark

If you’re crazy enough to be in Florida in July, you’re definitely crazy enough to partake of one of the travel world’s more interesting festivals: Key West’s Hemingway Days. The 100th anniversary of Ernest Hemingway’s birth will be celebrated July 16-25 , with a 10-day celebration on the island the Nobel Prize-winning author called home during the 1930s.

This year’s festival features an expanded centennial schedule of events commemorating Hemingway’s literary achievements, his “larger-than-life” persona and enduring love for the southernmost city in the continental United States. Hemingway wrote such classics as “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “A Farewell to Arms” and “To Have and Have Not” while living in Key West.

A centennial birthday celebration at Sloppy Joe’s Bar is a highlight of Hemingway Days 1999. Now a Key West landmark, Sloppy Joe’s is renowned as Hemingway’s favorite watering hole. The popular “Papa” Hemingway Look-Alike Contest at Sloppy Joe’s is expected to draw more than 100 bearded (and grizzled?) men vying for the coveted title.

“Papa” look-alikes are also involved in other festival adventures such as Key West’s versionf Pamplona’s “running of the bulls”, a parade through the streets to Hemingway’s Whitehead Street home for a Twilight Party, and walking tours to Key West sites associated with the author. The festival also features various literary events and prizes.