4th of July HAPPENING in the Florida Keys…
Join us this week for 4th of July activities throughout the Keys!
The Upper Keys:
In Key Largo and Islamorada, where KeysCaribbean Luxury Resorts and Marinas has two exclusive locations – Mariners Resort Villas & Marina and the Historic Tavernier Inn
Key Largo / March 16 – July 20
Presented by Friends of the Key Largo Cultural Center, visitors are welcome to participate in the new Ocean Life Lecture Series; topics include Coral Spawning in the Florida Keys (March 16); Sea Turtles (April 20); Coral Reefs & Human Systems (May 18); World Oceans Day (June 8); Florida Everglades (July 20). Meet-and-greet- reception is at 6 p.m., lecture begins at 7 p.m. Tickets $10 per adult, students are free. Held at the theater inside the Murray E. Nelson Cultural Center, MM 102.
Contact: Linda Kaplan 305-396-7000
Islamorada / June 29 – 30
Hosted by Warren Sapp, this annual event invites you to fish with some of your favorite former ‘Cane All-Stars! Cash prizes for the heaviest dolphin, a charity auction and more highlight the one-day tournament. Headquartered at Postcard Inn Beach Resort & Marina. Entry fee $550 for up to four-angler team; $100 per additional angler. Proceeds help benefit Upper Keys Habitat for Humanity.
Contact: KC Jones 303-925-3660
Key Largo / July 4
Fireworks Show on Blackwater Sound
Blackwater Sound provides the perfect nighttime mirrorlike surface to make the annual fireworks display seem like a 3-D viewing experience designed to dazzle. The show is to take place on the bayfront in Key Largo at 10 p.m., July 4. The best seating can be found at Sundowners and Senior Frijoles restaurants, Caribbean Club and Marriott Key Largo Bay Resort, all located around mile marker (MM) 104 bayside. Reservations are suggested because seating is limited.
Contact: Sue Finney 305-394-3736
Islamorada / July 4
Fireworks and Family Fun at Founders Park
Founders Park, MM 87 on Plantation Key, is the site of “Spirit of Islamorada,” an old-fashioned annual Fourth of July celebration hosted by the Village of Islamorada and the Upper Keys Rotary Club. Entertainment and activities for kids, teens, parents and dogs highlight the event from 6 to 9:30 p.m. A fireworks show follows. Guests staying at participating resorts are to receive admission-free wristbands to enter the event at 6 p.m. A $10 admission fee for non-residents not staying at a participating hotel applies.
Key Largo / July 4
37th Annual Fourth of July Parade: “America: Yesterday, Today and Forever”
Sponsored by the Upper Keys Reporter & the Key Largo Chamber of Commerce, the parade gets rolling at 10 a.m. from the parking lot at Anthony’s Clothing Store, MM 98.2 on the center median of U.S. Highway 1 and ends at MM 100 in Key Largo. Plaque awards are to be presented to floats and entries in categories including most original, most beautiful, best portrayal of this year’s theme and more. An old fashioned community picnic is set for 5-8 p.m. at Murray Nelson Govt. & Cultural Center, MM 102. Snow cones, cotton candy, a watermelon seed-spitting contest and more fun is planned!
Contact: Key Largo Chamber 305-451-1414
The Middle Keys:
In the Middle Keys, KeysCaribbean Luxury Resorts and Marinas has the Village at Hawks Cay Villas on Duck Key, Indigo Reef Resort Villas & Marina and the Coral Lagoon Resort Villas & Marina vacation rentals in Marathon
Marathon / July 4
For one of the Keys’ largest and longest fireworks displays, families gather for a full day of activities in Marathon for a patriotic parade that begins at 10:30 a.m. and proceeds from Marathon High School on Sombrero Beach Road (MM 50 oceanside) to free-admission Sombrero Beach, where a daylong celebration features food, drink, kids’ crafts and entertainment, capped off after dark with fireworks. Marathon is known as the Boating Destination of the Keys, and hundreds of boaters line up in front of the beach for a preferred view of the festivities.
Marathon / July 6 – 8
Have some fun on the water while competing for prizes and trophies during the two-day underwater hunting event. All proceeds are donated to the local American Cancer Society at the Relay for Life event here in Marathon. Entry fees $100 per two-person team or $50 per person. Sponsored by Captain Hook’s Marina & Dive Center
The Lower Keys:
In the Lower Keys, KeysCaribbean Luxury Resorts and Marinas has the Coral Hammock Resort Villas and Kings Point Marina & Condominiums vacation rentals
Key West / January 01 to December 31
Enjoy a fabulous tour of Key West…with a twist. A gay twist that is! Get a unique tour of Key West and learn about our colorful history that includes the famous and the infamous. Departs from the City Hall Parking Lot, located on the corner of Angela and Simonton. Tickets $25. Can be purchased ONLINE or at the trolley, our G&L Visitor Center (located at 513 Truman), and many of our distinguished gay and lesbian guest houses.
Key West / March 17 – November 30
More than 40 species of fish are targeted during these months, with divisions for men, women, junior anglers (ages 10 to 14) and Pee Wees (under 10 years old). In a March kickoff event, anglers target 15 species and $5,000 in cash prizes is split between the top anglers.
Contact: Doris Harris 305-295-6601
Key West / June 1 – July 2
Enter the Virtual ‘Papa’ Hemingway Look-Alike Contest at the Florida Keys & Key West Facebook Page!
Yearning to be Ernest? If you look like Ernest Hemingway, you might win a trip to Key West. Stocky bearded men who resemble the literary legend, who lived and wrote in Key West throughout the 1930s, can now compete in a Virtual “Papa” Hemingway Look-Alike Contest. The person selected who most resembles “Papa” is to win a four-night, five-day trip for two to Key West to compete in a preliminary round of the 2012 Sloppy Joe’s “Papa” Hemingway Look-Alike Contest staged during Key West’s annual Hemingway Days festival, set for July 17-22. One photo per contestant can be submitted through the Florida Keys & Key West’s Facebook page. Submissions are being accepted now through June 22. Public voting is scheduled June 23-29 to choose 10 finalists. A judging panel made up of past look-alike winners is to select the online winner by July 2.
Big Pine & the Lower Keys / July 4
Celebrate Fourth of July Fireworks
The Big Pine & Lower Keys Rotary Club’s annual 4th of July fireworks are to take place at Sugarloaf Airport, MM 17 bayside on Sugarloaf Key, adjacent to the quirky Bat Tower. Live music, food and ice-cold beverages are to be accompanied by games and activities for both adults and kids. An expanded fireworks show is set to go off at nightfall, or about 9 p.m. Admission is free, but no coolers, pets or personal fireworks will be allowed. Gates open at 5 p.m. Admission is free. Rain date set for July 5.
Key West / July 4
The celebration is set to take place at the luxurious Casa Marina Resort & Beach Club, A Waldorf Astoria Collection, located at 1500 Reynolds St. overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Scheduled to start at 5 p.m. with fireworks starting at 9 p.m., courtesy of the Key West Rotary Club. The traditional buffet offers hamburgers, hot dogs and all the fixings for $25 per adult, $10 per child between 3 and 12 and free for children younger than three. General admission (no meal) tickets are $10. For an elegant alternative, attendees can choose reserved beachfront seats with first-class service and a lavish buffet. Tickets for the “best seats on the beach” section are $125 per person. Free watermelon, popcorn and cold drinks, live music, a silent auction and lots of children’s games round out the fun-filled family festivities.
Key West / July 6
Featuring The Original Wailers, Yellowman & the Sagittarius Band, join the party at Sunset Pier. Gates open at 7 p.m., tickets $25 in advance and $30 the day of the show. Tickets available online at keystix.com.
These are some of my favorite happenings this week and next in the Florida Keys. If you’re coming down to visit and stay with us at the KeysCaribbean Luxury Resorts & Marinas in our vacation rentals, share some of your favorite experiences with us …
Visit our blog next Monday with updated happenings in the Florida Keys…