Christmas in Key West Shines Merry and Bright

Christmas in the Florida Keys is nothing short of magical. The lack of a single snowflake is more than made up for by the endless grains of powder-soft sand that you can sink your bare toes into during a stroll along our white sand terraces and pretty palm-lined paths. Key West is a particularly popular destination during the holidays, so book now to avoid missing out on a spectacular festive experience. View our last minute availability for Christmas in Key West!

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During the holiday season, the island’s palm trees are illuminated with lights, conch cottages are decorated with colorful holiday displays and sail boats are magically lit up on the waterfront. From fun events and entertaining activities to spacious, luxury accommodations, here are just some of reasons to visit Key West during the Christmas holidays.

Christmas in Key West

 

Wake up to water or garden views in spacious luxury villas

At Parrot Key Resort, space is never compromised so you will enjoy sprawling out in style in one of our three-bedroom villas. Ideal for families and groups of friends, you can unwrap gifts, play games and unwind together in the exclusivity of your own villa which overlooks stunning views of either the sparkling waters of Florida Bay or our tropical gardens.

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Your spacious villa includes a third floor bedroom with two twin beds, a master bedroom with a king bed, and a ground floor guestroom with a double queen bed–perfect for accommodating up to 8 guests. Other bed type combinations are available to request upon booking.

Festive dining with a Florida Keys tropical twist

You will be spoiled for choice when deciding where to dine with family and friends, and the key to creating a memorable, happy occasion for festive indulgence is to book early. There are delicious menus and holiday specials available at many well-established restaurants across Key West. For inspiration on where to dine, visit hereCafé Blue at Parrot Key Resort is open throughout the holidays to bring you refreshing snacks and celebratory Christmas cocktails during your poolside relaxation.

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Kick back and relax under the winter sunshine

During the depths of winter when it’s usually grey and cold in many parts of the world, Key West is a haven of natural beauty, adventure and quirky culture waiting to be explored under a subtropical sunshine. What a treat waking up on Christmas Day morning to soak up the scenery of tropical gardens or the calm ocean before taking a dip in one of our four heated pools, each nestled in its own lush oasis. This is where you can really switch off from the usual Christmas chores that come with preparing and then clearing up a mammoth meal.

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Key West Holiday Festivities

  • December 3  – 20, 2015: Key West Holiday Fest- Each year a wide range of seasonal celebrations takes place throughout Key West. Events include the lighting of the Harbor Walk of Lights, tours of historic decorated inns, a holiday parade and much more.
  • December 20: Monthly Artisan Market — Holiday/Shop Local- The Key West Artisan Market is a vibrant, open air bazaar filled with artists, authors, chef-made cuisine, craftspeople, performers, fresh produce, baked goods, cheeses and flowers, craft beer & wine from residents representing the diversity of creativity, ingenuity and locally made products of the Keys & Key West. Held the first Sunday of the month, during season (thru April) outdoors at the Restaurant Store, 1111 Eaton. Free family & pet friendly event. Email: jill@dailyplan-it.net.
  • December 31, 2015: Key West New Year’s Eve- Celebrations include the lowering of the Conch Shell over Sloppy Joe’s on lower Duval Street, the lowering of famous Key West drag queen Sushi (riding a huge high-heeled shoe) over the Bourbon Street Complex on upper Duval Street, and the lowering of the “pirate wench” from the mast of a schooner in the Historic Seaport. Expect everything out of the ordinary during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Key West.

Call 855-327-7200 to speak with an onsite vacation planner or book reservations online now.

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Thanksgiving Day in Key West Offers a Tropical Twist

As one of the biggest highlights in the year’s calendar, Thanksgiving Day creates some of the best memories of celebrating with family and friends. It’s hard to imagine wanting to be anywhere else on November 26 other than around the table surrounded by your nearest and dearest with a feast full of the finest Thanksgiving treats. But close your eyes and imagine waking up with your loved ones in a sub-tropical haven away from the autumn chill, stepping out onto your private balcony and gazing out on the sparkling waters of the Florida Keys. This is no ordinary Thanksgiving Day – it’s a celebration Key West-style that will send you on a journey through paradise as you sip iced Margaritas and lounge back under the golden rays of day-long sunshine.

Thaksgiving in Key West

Give thanks in a tropical oasis

Our Key West hideaway at Parrot Key Resort provides an idyllic backdrop to help you mark Thanksgiving Day in style. Home to four beautiful sparkling pools, each nestled among a tropical garden oasis offering peace, privacy and paradise, Parrot Key Resort offers simple luxuries and stunning scenery. During the Thanksgiving celebrations, you and your family can spend quality time around one of our pools breathing in the warm scented air, reading in the shade, or cooling off in the refreshing water. For a more action-packed Thanksgiving holiday, we can organize a variety of water sports for you including paddle boarding, kayaking, waverunner tours and parasailing.

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A luxury villa for ultimate comfort

Families and groups of friends looking to celebrate Thanksgiving together can sprawl out in our spacious three-bedroom villas, each overlooking the natural beauty of either our lush tropical gardens or the calm ocean. With different bed type combinations to suit the needs of your group, including a master bedroom with a king and a guest room with a double queen, each room has its own flat screen TV for when you need time out to recharge after a lively day of Thanksgiving. The villa has its own private balcony providing the perfect spot for watching a spectacular sunset together after a day of celebrations.

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A feast fit for Thanksgiving

Take a stroll through the center of Key West and you’ll be spoiled for choice with a wide variety of highly rated restaurants offering a Thanksgiving feast with a tropical Florida Keys twist. Start by toasting Thanksgiving with a cool cocktail at our poolside Café Blue before venturing out to your chosen venue for a food fest to remember. A popular choice for dining out and indulging in the best Thanksgiving cuisine is Rooftop Café (308 Front Street, Key West, FL, 33040 (305)294 – 2042). Reservations are essential during the Thanksgiving holiday. For more inspiration on dining out in Key West, visit here.

Dial 888-211-0348 to book Thanksgiving accommodations or book online

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World Championship Super Boat Races To Roar Into Key West Nov. 8-15

Sports fans with a need for speed can satisfy it at the Key West World Championship powerboat races set for Sunday through Sunday, Nov. 8-15, in Key West waters.

The 35th annual championship series is to feature boats raced by leading American and international teams, roaring over a 6.2-mile course that includes Key West Harbor and provides unparalleled viewing for spectators.

Boats typically face both rough and calm water conditions during the season-ending event, dubbed the Indianapolis 500 of the offshore powerboat racing circuit. The challenging course is a primary reason for Key West’s reputation as one of the world’s premier racing venues.

The course layout means boats can sometimes pass within 50 yards of fans, enabling them to experience the pulse-pounding action in a unique close-up manner.

The Key West World Championship is to kick off with a parade of race boats down the island’s legendary Duval Street beginning at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8.

The excitement builds through the week with races Wednesday, Nov. 11; Friday, Nov. 13; and Sunday, Nov. 15. Races are scheduled at 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. on all three days and each features boats from multiple classes.

Among spectators’ favorites are the Superboat and Superboat Unlimited classes, which draw powerful contenders competing at speeds that can reach 140 and 150 mph, respectively.

On nonrace days, powerboat enthusiasts can view the boats, watch in-water testing runs and mingle with racers and crews at the race village on Key West’s Truman Waterfront, which lies beyond the end of Southard Street past Thomas Street and Truman Annex.

In addition, parties are planned for racers and fans.

General-admission tickets are available, as are all-inclusive VIP spectator passes for the Truman Waterfront grandstands and hospitality tent. Other popular viewing areas include waterfront hotels and Key West’s Mallory Square.

Event information: www.superboat.com

Let us help plan your vacation at Parrot Key Resort by calling 855-327-7200 to speak with our onsite vacation planning team.

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Suite Escape Sale: Enjoy up to $250 for Food and Drinks!

There’s nothing that beats sitting outside in the warm breezy air, sipping a refreshing Key West cocktail and indulging in a leisurely lunch surrounded by lush, tropical gardens. Well actually, there is! At Parrot Key Resort, we are adding even more to your experience of staying in Key West paradise, with our Suite Paradise Treats package, available for stays the remainder of 2015 through our “Suite Escape Sale.”

Key West Summer Vacation Family

When you book one of our luxurious and spacious garden Key West suites and villas, you will receive a $50 per night dining credit (up to $250 in total) to spend on delicious food and cool island drinks at our poolside tiki bar and restaurant, Café Blue.

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That’s $250 at your disposal to sample the tropical tastes, delicious Caribbean-inspired cooking, and the most refreshing flavors that all make our delectable culinary creations in the Florida Keys, so special.

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This is the ultimate Key West dining package that combines the comfort and spaciousness of our stylish suites and villas, with the taste bud-tingling experience of dining poolside at Café Blue.

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Your $50 credit per night can be spent over a leisurely breakfast or casual lunch savoring the flavors of shrimp salads, breakfast wraps, Cuban paninis, speciality pizzas or fish tacos.

Mother's Day in Key West, Florida Keys

Then there are the refreshing cocktails to choose from, including Parrot Rum Punch, Key Lime Daiquiris, Blueberry Mojitos and other Florida Keys creations.

Key West Summer Vacation Family

Café Blue is surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens with towering palm trees and the sweet scent of tropical foliage, all adding to your place in paradise at the southernmost tip of the Florida Keys.

The Parrot Key Suite Paradise Treats package includes

  • Overnight accommodation in a spacious Garden King Suite, Garden Two-Bedroom Suite, Garden Family Suite or 3-bedroom Garden Villa
  • $50 per night food and beverage credit at Cafe Blue (maximum $250 for stays longer than 5 nights)

Book Online Now or Call 855-327-7200

Key West Three Bedroom Villa

 

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Thousands of Poker Run bikers get set for the annual Overseas Highway challenge

Motorcyclists from around the United States will travel one of America’s most stunning highways for charity from September 17 through 20.
 
The 43rd annual Phil Peterson’s Key West Poker Run will see over 10,000 bikes cover the Overseas Highway (U.S Highway 1) which stretches 113 miles from mainland Florida to Key West and crosses 42 bridges. Poker Run motorcyclists will be treated to breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean on one side, and Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico on the other.
 
Organized by Peterson’s Harley-Davidson of Miami and the Key West Sunrise Rotary Club, the event is open for online biker registration at www.petersonskeywestpokerrun.com. Once registered and a $10 donation has been made, each biker will receive a poker sheet and additional “poker hands” can be purchased at $10 with no limit on the number of hands a person can play. Drivers of cars and trucks can also purchase poker hands and take part in the run.
 
Starting in Miami, participants will then head down the Overseas Highways to Key West, stopping at designated points along the way to draw cards until they reach Cowboy Bill’s, 618 Duval Street in Key West. Entrants who draw 10 best poker hands during their journey can then play in a winner-take-all round of Texas Hold ‘Em at Cowboy Bill’s which will begin on Saturday night at 11pm.
The grand prize will be a brand new Harley-Davidson® 500 Street. An eight-block stretch of Duval Street will be closed off to make way for a huge bike show which will be held in front of Rick’s/Durty Harry’s and Sloppy Joe’s Bar on Saturday. Locals, tourists, and bikers all enjoy the sights and sounds of this mini-Mardi Gras with its carnival atmosphere, music, food and cold beer.

For more information and a complete schedule, visit petersonskeywestpokerrun.com.

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SALE EXTENDED: “Sale” away to Key West this autumn

UPDATE: THE SALE IS NOW OVER

Planning an escape to the Florida Keys in the shimmering autumn sunshine is one reason to feel excited. Booking a luxury deal that won’t bust your budget will raise your vacation excitement to a whole new level, which is why Parrot Key Resort is delighted to launch our latest sale which includes savings of up to 25% on stays this autumn. Book by August 10th to enjoy rates on garden guestrooms from $149/night on select dates. For the ultimate luxury, guests can also upgrade to luxury with a garden suite from $169/night on select dates. Travel with friends this autumn and try a 3-bedroom villa with room for eight, starting at $339/night.

Serenity is on Sale: Book online now

Key West Hotel Sale

 

An autumn breeze and nothing but the sound of serenity

Not only does a vacation this fall mean calmer islands following the busy summer season, it also means a comfortable tropical heat and balmy breeze when the rest of the northern world is gearing up for colder days in the run up to winter. With average temperatures topping 84 degrees, Key West is perfectly positioned to enjoy a range of activities for both adventure-seekers and those looking to indulge in some rest and relaxation, where all you can hear is the sound of serenity.

Key West Hotel Sale

 

Autumn Events in Key West

There is also an excellent line-up of events from September through November to keep you entertained during your Florida Keys vacation. Please note that special event dates will be higher priced than the advertised lead rates, but still offer great value.

  • Beer and ale fans will be in their element during the Key West Brewfest (September 2 – 7) which will feature over 150 varieties to sample, as well as brew-themed dinners, beer and cigar gatherings, pool parties and a lavish tasting festival on the beach.
  • Another September highlight is the Phil Peterson’s Key West Poker Run (17 – 20) which will bring together motorcycle enthusiasts from around the US for South Florida’s biggest motorcycle party weekend of the year. Starting in Miami and ending in Key West, over 10,000 riders will make five stops along the way and end with a big party and game of Texas Hold ‘Em at Cowboy Bill’s, 618 Duval Street.
  • In October, Key West’s historic Bahama Village neighborhood will host the lively Goombay Festival with a colorful variety of island-style food, arts and crafts, nonstop live entertainment and dancing in the streets to tempt visitors. 
  • The party atmosphere in Key West will then go into overdrive from October 23 through November 1 when Fantasy Fest kicks off. This annual 10-day festival celebrates outrageous costuming and masking with fun and flamboyant events including promenades, street fairs and a grand parade that stars marching groups, island bands and lavish floats.
  • November is a big month with Veterans Day and Thanksgiving Day celebrations to prepare for in Key West. There are also exciting events to enjoy, including the Key West World Championship Race (8 – 15), the Annual Key West Film Fest (11 – 16) and Art! Key West! from 27 through 29.

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Or grab an island snack and just relax

On-site you can sit back and enjoy some rest and relaxation poolside by one of our four sparkling pools, each nestled among its own tropical oasis to offer some much-needed seclusion and privacy. When it’s time for a thirst-quencher, we’ll bring you a refreshing island drink from Cafe Blue which also serves up delicious breakfasts, lunches and daytime snacks.

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Water-based activities in Key West

Autumn is the perfect time of year for fishing with lobster season running from August through March, and stone crab claw season starting in October through May. Parrot Key Resort can even arrange fishing charters at the resort for a unforgettable day trip out in the ocean. Water sports fans can also indulge in a range of other adventurous activities including diving, snorkeling and kayaking. Plus, our complimentary shuttle service to Smathers Beach means you can unwind on powder-soft sand and top up your Floridia sun tan at your leisure.

Key West Hotel Sale

Our autumn sale runs August 3rd through August 14th for stays this autumn. Call 877-676-1826 or book online by August 14th. 

Terms: This offer must be booked by August 14, 2015 and the deal is valid for stays on select dates, now through January 14, 2016. The sale starting rates are for garden guestrooms and other room types will be higher. Savings are limited based on availability, and some blackout dates may apply. Rates are subject to frequent change based on availability and may sell out at any given time. The sale rates do not reflect a daily resort fee of $25/night in addition to a 12.5% applicable tax. Savings vary based on availability and special event dates. The sale rates are available for SELECT dates and room types only. Find the best rates on Sundays through Thursdays.

Key West Hotel Sale

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Key West Lobsterfest brings a “feast-ival” of seafood celebrations to the Florida Keys in August

Seafood fans will be in their element during a visit to Key West this summer when the tasty Key West Lobsterfest brings its annual schedule of events to the island from Thursday through Sunday, August 6-9. This popular “feast-ival” celebrates the bounty of the Florida Keys lobster season with an exciting line-up of activities including the traditional lobster boil and a lively street fair. Book your stay at Parrot Key Resort or call 855-327-7200.

Image by Rob O'Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau

Image by Rob O’Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau

Famous for its sweet and tender meat, the spiny lobster of the Florida Keys is served at its best when steamed with drawn butter and partnered with a savory salad. Restaurants all over Key West will be serving up the freshest, tastiest lobster, seasoned to perfection for diners to devour.

The festival kicks off at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 6th when lobster lovers will gather at the Sunset Tiki Bar & Grille, 617 Front Street, for a delectable lobster boil with shrimp, sausage, clawfish, corn on the cob, potatoes and plenty of live entertainment to keep celebrations in top gear.

Image by Rob O'Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau

Image by Rob O’Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau

One of the main highlights of Friday’s festivities will be the Lobsterfest Duval Crawl of bars along Key West’s lively Duval Street, warming crowds up to the weekend finale on Saturday, August 8th when the Key West Lobsterfest Street Fair takes over the 100 through 500 blocks of Duval. From noon until 11:00 p.m, chefs from local restaurants will prepare fine lobster specialties, featuring fresh crustaceans caught by Florida Keys fishermen. There will also be live music during the day with a free outdoor concert from 1:00 p.m. through 10:30 p.m. as well as a colorful collection of arts, crafts and merchandise from on-site vendors.

For more information on Lobsterfest including reservation details for key events during the weekend, visit www.keywestlobsterfest.com

Mother's Day in Key West, Florida Keys

 

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Hemingway 5k Sunset Run/Walk and Paddleboard Race Set for July 25th in Key West

Racers can compete on foot or on paddleboards during two Key West challenges that commemorate Ernest Hemingway’s exuberant outdoor lifestyle and passion for sporting pursuits. Set for Saturday, July 25th, the Malibu Rum Hemingway 5k Sunset Run/Walk and Lazy Dog Paddleboard Race are part of Key West’s annual Hemingway Days celebration. The July 21-26 festival salutes the life and work of the author who lived on the island in the 1930s, enjoying sports from swimming to sparring. Book your stay now, at Parrot Key Resort, to avoid disappointment!

Mother's Day in Key West, Florida Keys

The Lazy Dog Paddleboard Race is to kick off at 6:00 p.m. at the island city’s Southernmost Beach, 1405 Duval St. on the Atlantic Ocean. The 3-mile ocean course begins and ends at the beach.

The 5k run/walk is to begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Southernmost Point in the continental United States, located beside the Atlantic at Whitehead and South streets. Runners travel a fast, flat 3.1-mile course through historic Old Town past landmarks including the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum.

Awards for runners await the top three male and female overall finishers, top three male and female masters and top three male and female finishers in age categories ranging from 9 and under to 75 and over. For paddleboard racers and walkers in the 5k, awards are to be presented to the first- through 10th-place male and female finishers.

All competitors in both races can expect finisher medals. A registration booth is to be open 3-7 p.m. race day at 1319 Duval St. Race packets can be picked up there.

Before that date, athletes can register online at www.active.com. Registration forms also can be downloaded from www.keywestspecialevents.com or picked up at local hotels and fitness centers.

The entry fee for either race is $45 per adult ($35 for military members and those under age 15). Fees include a fully sublimated race tech shirt, food, libations and giveaways.

For more race information, visit www.keywestspecialevents.com or 305-240-0727.

Key West Summer Vacation Family

 

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Hemingway Days to Honor Key West’s Literary Past and Present

Ernest Hemingway left Key West in late 1939 after nearly a decade of residence, but his literary legacy still enriches the subtropical island — as evidenced by the events for readers and writers during Hemingway Days 2015, scheduled Tuesday through Sunday, July 21-26.

Key West’s two most famous writers are spotlighted during a special museum day set for Tuesday, July 21, the 116th anniversary of Ernest Hemingway’s birth. “Hemingway in Key West” can be viewed at the Custom House Museum, 281 Front St., while an exhibit exploring playwright Tennessee Williams’ Key West years is on display at 513 Truman Ave. Both exhibits continue throughout the festival and beyond.

Hemingway Days’ opening evening features a presentation titled “Ernest Hemingway — Angler, Sportsman … Conservationist?” by author Timothy P. O’Brien, Ph.D., at 5:30 p.m. at the Custom House Museum. O’Brien is to examine Hemingway’s angling exploits, passion for sportsmanship and activities studying and documenting marine life. Other attractions include a reception, exhibit tour and “birthday party” for Ernest.

The festival’s leading literary event is the announcement of the winners of the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition at 8 p.m. Friday, July 24. Awarding $2,500 annually to emerging writers of short fiction, the competition is directed by Lorian Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway’s granddaughter and the author of critically acclaimed books including “Walk on Water.”

The awards presentation traditionally takes place at 314 Simonton St., an architectural showplace that was Ernest Hemingway’s first Key West address. Highlights include a reading of the winning story and a presentation by Tom Oosterhoudt on the property’s cultural heritage. Admission is free.

Participants include Chuck Ball, author of “Hemingway’s Heist” among others; Michael Haskins, who penned the Mick Murphy Key West mysteries; Steven Hull, known for his gritty Hunter Benson adventures; Mandy Miles, whose “Tan Lines” books chronicle Key West life; Timothy O’Brien, whose works include “The Tycoon Tackle Story: Frank O’Brien, the Tycoon Fishing Rod, and the Gilded Age of Big Game Angling”; Terry Schmida, writer of Florida Keys true crime volumes; and special guest Lorian Hemingway.

Presented by Literacy Volunteers of America–Monroe County, the free-admission event also includes a “meet the authors” reception and book signing with books available for purchase.

Though best known for his novels and short stories, Ernest Hemingway also wrote poetry. At 5 p.m. Thursday, July 23, the Key West Poetry Guild is to present a reading titled “Papa’s Poems” at the Blue Heaven restaurant, 729 Thomas St. — a site where Hemingway once refereed neighborhood boxing matches. Admission is free.

For more information, please visit www.shortstorycompetition.com, or www.hemingwaydays.net.

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4th of July Weekend in Key West Brings Great Food, Fireworks, and Two Free Drinks!

Not only can you enjoy great 4th of July offers in Key West, Independence Day celebrations will be taking place all weekend long in and around Key West. Enjoy beachside barbecues, parades, on-the-water fun and spectacular fireworks shows. Stay at Parrot Key Resort during July 4th weekend and we’ll even throw in two free drinks! Book now to avoid disappointment.

Call 844-445-2212 or book online now.

Key West Three Bedroom Villa

 

Key Lime Festival

An All-American celebration of Florida’s official state pie is to be staged in Key West Thursday through Saturday, July 2-4. Scheduled highlights of the Key Lime Festival include a Key lime pie–eating contest, a wacky talent show and samplings of Keys-distilled rum flavored with the tangy lime. Events are held throughout Key West at locations including Sloppy Joe’s, the Green Parrot Bar and the Smokin’ Tuna Saloon. Visit www.keylimefestival.com.

Independence Day Fireworks

The Big Pine & Lower Keys Rotary Club is set to host the annual Independence Day Fireworks at the Big Pine Community Park, located at 31009 Atlantis Road. Co-sponsored by the Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce, activities include live music headlined by Haywire, food and ice-cold beverages 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. and a rain date, if necessary, is scheduled for Sunday, July 5. For information, call 305-872-2411. 

Marathon Super Boat Grand Prix

Just over an hour away from Parrot Key Resort, in Marathon, guests can enjoy the Marathon Super Boat Grand Prix, with events scheduled Friday through Sunday, July 3-5. Race day is Sunday, when powerful high-speed boats are to show their muscle on a course parallel to the Marathon shoreline near the world-famous Seven Mile Bridge. Racing fans can enjoy free admission to view the boats and meet drivers and crews from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, through Sunday at the Race Village dry pits at the Florida Keys Marathon Airport, mile marker (MM) 51 bayside. Visit www.superboat.com.

Marathon 4th of July Parade

Also in Marathon, families can gather for a full day of activities beginning with a patriotic parade at 10:30 a.m. The route goes from Marathon High School on Sombrero Beach Road, MM 50 oceanside, to free-admission Sombrero Beach, where a holiday celebration features food, drink, kids’ crafts, music and entertainment. Capping off the day is one of the Keys’ largest and longest fireworks displays, scheduled to start just after dark. Hundreds of boaters line up in front of the beach for a preferred view of the festivities. For details, call the Marathon Chamber of Commerce at 305-743-5417 or visit www.floridakeysmarathon.com.

Call Parrot Key Resort at 844-445-2212 or book online now.

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