KEY WEST, Fla. – The annual Hemingway Look-Alike Contest kicked off Thursday in Key West to mark the 123rd anniversary of Ernest Hemingway’s July 21 birth.
This year’s competition attracted 135 handsome bearded men who tried to prove their likeness to the famous American writer. The contest is the highlight of Key West’s annual Hemingway Days festival, held to celebrate the creative talents and colorful lifestyle of the man who lived and wrote on the island for much of the 1930s.
On Thursday night, the contestants paraded across the stage at Sloppy Joe’s Bar, where Hemingway and his friends often met for a drink, before a panel of judges made up of past competition winners.
Most of them have beards and wear sporty clothes, seeming to emulate the “papa” persona that Hemingway adopted in his later years.
On Thursday morning, a group of like-minded people were helping a 185-pound (83-kilogram) rehabilitated turtle, who happened to be named “Daddy,” around the Florida Keys when she was rescued after being caught in a fishing line. Sombrero Beach in Marathon.
A second preliminary round of a similar competition is scheduled for Friday, and the winner for 2022 will be chosen Saturday night. Late Wednesday, Nick Henke of St. Louis, Missouri, was named the winner of the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition.
Her entry, “A Lot of Carrefours,” beat out more than 775 other American and international entries judged by the grandson of writer Ernest Hemingway.
Hemingway Days continues Sunday with events including an unconventional “Running of the Bulls” spoof and the Key West Marlin Tournament. While living in Key West for most of the 1930s, Hemingway wrote classics including “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and “To Have and Have Not.”