4th of July in Key West: Prepare to Celebrate with Family Fun

Every year in Key West, families and friends join together on July 4th to celebrate Independence Day with picnics, parades, beachside barbecues, spectacular firework displays and a generous slice of the famous Key Lime Pie. With so many options for families, Parrot Key Resort is the perfect choice for a July 4th escape to Key West.

Key West Summer Vacation Family

During the July 4th weekend, a variety of celebrations will keep the party spirit high, including the Key Lime Pie Festival (July 3 – 5). There’s every excuse to indulge in Key West’s favorite flavor during this festival while enjoying a number of highlights, including a Key lime pie-eating contest, a Miss Key Lime Pageant, and the unveiling of an impressive 9 foot-wide pie which will be served up on Greene Street, just off Duval Street.

4th of July in Key West

All over Key West, the beaches will be filled with families enjoying picnics and barbecues. Favorite beaches on the island include Smathers Beach which boasts a half mile stretch of sandy man-made beach with restrooms, ample parking, concession stands, chair rentals, bike paths, picnic tables, volleyball nets and watersports rentals. Parrot Key Resort offers complimentary shuttle service to Smathers Beach.

Key West Summer Vacation Family

Independence Day parties will also be in full flow during the nightly Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square. With arts and crafts, street performers, food carts and thousands of locals and visitors, the atmosphere is electric and will be even more special on July 4th when the sun sinks into the Gulf of Mexico. Fireworks will begin on the White Street Pier at 9 p.m., courtesy of the Key West Rotary Club. You can enjoy excellent views for free, from Higgs Beach. Call 855-327-7200 to book your stay today.

Key West Summer Vacation Family

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VOTE: Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards

Winning a prize that takes you overseas on an exclusive trip of a lifetime is one of the most desirable prizes to be rewarded, and the only way to win it is to be in it! So if you’re currently on a lunch break in the office or catching up on all the latest online news, take a few minutes out to vote for the Condé Nast Traveler‘s Readers’ Choice Awards and you’ll be raising your chances of winning the ultimate travel prize.

For more than 25 years,  Condé Nast Traveler‘s Readers’ Choice Awards have produced the most trusted and comprehensive listings of your favorite hotels, resorts, cities, islands, airlines, and cruise lines. This year, we’re excited to see Parrot Key Resort included in the survey and voters are being asked to recommend their experiences during their vacation or business trip. Just a few minutes of your time spent reminiscing your trip can help Condé Nast compile their listings which will be published in November, and in turn you could win one of two getaways.

Follow this link to vote http://www.cntraveler.com/vote/readers-choice-survey-2014

Key West Summer Vacation

 

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Spring Into Summer: 7-Day Sale in Key West

Save up to 25% in Key West at Parrot Key Resort

It’s time to break out your luggage, pack the sunblock and book a last minute spring break escape, or plan ahead for your Key West summer vacation.  It’s been a long, cold winter and you deserve a slice of paradise in the sunshine-filled Florida Keys complete with white sand beaches, spectacular sunsets, delicious dining and fun around every corner. That’s why we’re giving you the perfect chance to book now and enjoy a discount at Parrot Key Resort with in our Spring Into Summer 7-Day Sale. You can even reap more rewards from our sale by entering to win a two-night stay at Parrot Key Resort!

Key West Summer Vacation

For a limited time only, we’re offering up to 25% off stays when you book by March 17, 2014. Whether you’re planning a fun family vacation, a getaway with friends or a romantic retreat, you can enjoy up to 15% savings on an escape in March and April, or book a summer vacation and save up to 25% on stays through September 22.

Key West Summer Vacation

Offering simple luxury and welcoming southern hospitality, Parrot Key Resort is the ultimate oasis of calm and ease. You can spend carefree days lounging by one of our four sparkling pools all nestled among picturesque tropical gardens, or head to nearby Smathers Beach via our complimentary shuttle service.

Key West Summer Vacation

Whether you choose to stay in one of our spacious guestrooms, one or two-bedroom suites, or a fabulous three-bedroom villa, you will experience a haven of relaxation at an affordable price making Parrot Key Resort the ideal hideaway for families and couples.

Key West Summer Vacation

With great discounts on bookings this spring and summer, you can sit back and make the most of all that Key West and the resort have to offer. Families will love the Key West Aquarium, the Conch Tour Train and the Key West Shipwreck Museum. Couples on a romantic break, can indulge in leisurely lunches in Key West’s many sidewalk cafes, or splash out on a Sunset Watersports dinner cruise.

Key West Summer Vacation

Book early and take advantage of our Spring Into Summer 7-Day Sale for a vacation of a lifetime. All you have to do is like us on Facebook and enter your email address on our sale page to receive our exclusive booking link. Your next stay in paradise is just  few clicks away.

Key West Summer Vacation

Call 877-676-1826 to speak with an onsite vacation planner

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Music, Mojitos and Mardi Gras Moments in Key West This May

Key West Songwriter’s Festival in May 2014

Key West’s party spirit is set to soar this spring to the tune of the annual Songwriters’ Festival, the largest of its kind in the world, which will take over the island for five days from May 7th through 11th.

Key West Songwriter's FestivalAll images are compliments of the Key West Songwriter’s Festival

As you venture from one venue to another during your vacation, you’ll be greeted by a diverse line-up featuring over 100 songwriters all delivering unique “Key West-only” moments, including informal adaptations of Nashville’s signature in-the-round acoustic showcases. At the peak of the event will be the enticing, colorful street concert adding a Mardi Gras feel to the festival.

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A Festival Line-up That Can’t be “Beat”

With some of the biggest names in the world of songwriting descending on Key West for the festival, we’re excited to see a phenomenal line-up of headliners including Kacey Musgraves, Sara Evans, Anders Osborne, Robert Earl Keen, Kree Harrison, DJ DU, Matraca Berg, Tony Joe White and Dean Dillon.

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For more details on the line-up and show schedule during the Songwriters’ Festival, visit www.keywestsongwritersfestival.com.

 

10 Toe-Tapping Live Music Venues in Key West

If you can’t make this year’s May festival, Key West has an array of live music venues throughout the year to get you in a toe-tapping mood. The island is famed for many types of music, from techno, hip hop, jazz and raggae, to calypso, blues, country and western, so a night out will always feature a show that appeals to all musical tastes. Here are our top ten recommendations for live music venues in Key West:

Schooner Wharf Bar, 22 William Street. Laid-back, comfortable and oozing with character, this bar is just a few blocks away from Duval Street and overlooks the harbor. It’s popular for its live music, friendly service and rustic charm.

Little Room Jazz Club, 821 Duval Street. Renowned for being Key West’s finest blues lounge, the cosy Little Room Jazz Club is on the quieter side of Duval Street. It’s one of the top local spots for sipping beer whilst enjoying some of the island’s best jazz.

Smokin’ Tuna Saloon, 4 Charles Street. This popular venue is home base for the Songwriter Festival. Throughout the year it stages some of Key West’s hottest acts with  a music schedule on offer every night alongside a tempting menu of fresh seafood.

Sloppy Joe’s, 201 Duval Street. Famed for being Ernest Hemingway’s favorite watering hole, Sloppy Joe’s is one of the most iconic bars in Key West. Expect a lively party atmosphere with its regular live music schedule.

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Willie T’s, 525 Duval Street. If it’s a cool mojito you fancy whilst checking out the latest quality live music acts, head to Willie T’s. The mojitos here are legendary and the walls are decorated with dollar bills from patrons past.

Island Dogs, 505 Front Street. One of Key West’s coolest hang-outs, you’ll find live music most nights at Island Dogs where the Key Lime Pie Martini is a must-try, along with the chargrilled oysters.

Hog’s Breath Saloon, 400 Front Street. Locals and visitors have been coming to Hog’s Breath Saloon for around 25 years for its daily schedule of live music and friendly service.

Green Parrot Bar, 601 Whitehead Street. Another Key West icon, Green Parrot Bar is loved by locals and welcomes visitors every night with its exciting line-up of live music which makes the venue fun and bursting with energy.

Turtle Kraals, 231 Margaret Street. Catch the latest live music from the harbor-based Turtle Kraals which not only offers the best views of the Key West Historic Seaport, but serves up a refreshing selection of drinks, including the delicious Key Lime Margarita.

Bull and Whistle Bar, 224 Duval Street. Here you’ll find two bars under one roof with live music showcased on the Bull stage. The party atmosphere entices large crowds most nights, making it one of Key West’s most popular venues for musical entertainment.

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For more details on the Key West Songwriter’s Festival, visit www.keywestsongwritersfestival.com.

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Sculpture Key West Spices up the Island With Amazing Outdoor Art

Sculpture Key West is a unique (and free) Key West art exhibition that places selected artworks in the community for your enjoyment. Sculpture Key West believes that art isn’t something we should have to make plans to see, or buy a ticket to visit. Instead, they believe that art belongs in our everyday environment where we can bump into it, where it can unexpectedly alter our day and our world. Artists from eight states are represented in the exhibition and their works are showcased in a wide variety of traditional and experimental media. Some sculptures were constructed on site, while some incorporate native materials such as local plant life. The exhibit is available for viewing through March 23, 2014 at West Martello Tower and adjoining Higgs Beach in Key West.

Artist John Martini’s sculpture art can be seen around Parrot Key Resort and some of his works are also part of the Sculpture Key West exhibit. Scroll down to see some of Martini’s work, along with other amazing art sculptures. View the Sculpture Key West Facebook Page

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Eric Troffkin, “Communications Vine,” 2013
Welded red and white steel tubing
40″ L x 3.5′ W

 

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Sunil Garg, “Will They Too Soon Be Gone”
Predator No1
Wire mesh, nylon thread, air currents, programmed RGB lights

 

Sculpture Key West

Adam Russell, “Watchmen,” 2013
3 ceramic sculptures approximately 85″ tall

Darryl Lauster, “Homage to Brancusi,” 2013
Welded steel and high fired porcelain
11′ 2″ tall, various dimensions

 

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John Martini, “Big Rat,” 2013
Welded Steel
85″ x 74″ x 38″

 

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Bill Lorraine, “Man Looking Up,”  2013
Carved out of indigenous stone, Miami Oolite
15″ tall x 23″ x 12″
Pedestal 10′ tall x 24″ x 15″

 

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James Racchi, “Untitled Column,” 2013
Polychromed steel
48″ high x 20″ W x 18″ D

Lorrie Fredette, “Evade Invasion,” 2013
Beeswax, tree resin, muslin, brass, nylon line
11′ H x 36″ W x 36″ D (approximate)

 

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Gereon Krebber, “Conchie,” 2012
Cast concrete, variable dims

 

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Joel Erland and Kate Kaman, “Conch Republic,” 2013  
3 Forton glass fiber reinforced concrete
5′ max length in any direction

 

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Ursula Clark, “Palm Goddess,” 2013
Palms, branches, shells, pods and stones as embellishments
10″ H x 6′ in diameter bottom of skirt

John Martini, “A Blakean Tale,” 2011
Welded Steel
96.5″ tall

 

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Simran Johnston, “Untitled: Semi Circle 1 and 2,” 2013
Sticks, plaster, paint polyurethane, nylon 6′ x 4.5′ and  2.5′ x 4″

 

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Richard Brachman, “Tank” (Camouflaged), 2013
Wood, chick wire, vines, leaves, sticks, coconuts
6′ W x 10′ L

 

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William Bennett, “Belly Scepter,”  1987 – 2013
Laminated stone, steel, bronze, plastic, gold leaf
86″ x 13″ x 13″

Liliana Crespi, “Shadows,” 2013
6 life size figures: wire crocheted
72″x 15″ x 8″ ea

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2014 Key West Food and Wine Festival to Tempt Appetites Jan. 22-26

Fans of fine food and stellar vintages can indulge their appetites for both at the 2014 Key West Food and Wine Festival scheduled Wednesday through Sunday, Jan. 22-26. Parrot Key Resort is offering a special Key West Food and Wine Festival Package for event-goers that includes overnight accommodations, a complimentary bottle of wine and tickets to “Duval Uncorked.”

View the Key West Food and Wine Festival Package at Parrot Key Resort

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What is the Key West Food and Wine Festival

Now in its fifth year, the edible extravaganza spotlights Key West’s lively culinary scene, talented chefs, indigenous ingredients and multifaceted flavors through gourmet galas and tastings, food and wine seminars and only–in–Key West experiences.

Food and Wine Festival Highlights

Highlights include Duval Uncorked, a stroll down Key West’s renowned Duval Street from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean, set for 3:30-7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25. The avenue is to become a mile-long culinary showplace, tempting attendees with forays into restaurants, bars, galleries and boutiques.

Also highlighted is the “Save the Turtles” pierside grand tasting in Key West’s Historic Seaport, which during the mid-1900s was the center of the island’s now defunct turtle harvesting industry. Planned for 5-7 p.m. at 231 Margaret St., the event features samples of Sea Turtle Reserve red and white wines produced by California’s Weibel Family Vineyards. A portion of the event’s proceeds is earmarked for the Sea Turtle Conservancy to support protection of the species.

Among other standout events are a barefoot evening beach party, seminars on topics ranging from pinot noir to the origins of Key lime pie, wine strolls in three island neighborhoods, a tour and tasting at Key West’s new rum distillery, an outdoor artisan wine market, a French masquerade dance party and the Master Chef’s Classic tasting and competition.

Offbeat Adventures

In addition, offbeat adventures are scheduled that combine food and fun. Among them are a quirky afternoon of coconut bowling in historic Bahama Village, an indulgent “bean to bar” chocolate experience and a traditional Key West shrimp boil beside the working shrimp docks.

Tickets and Information

Exclusive VIP passes are available covering admission to multiple festival events, as are tickets for individual events.

Festival information and ticketing: www.keywestfoodandwinefestival.com

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Updated: Christmas in Key West and Festive Events

Here is an updated list to our original post of festive fun in Key West!

The Florida Keys and Key West offer an array of festive fun during the holiday season. From holiday events, lighted boat parades, and more… Key West is just the place to enjoy the festive spirit. Parrot Key Resort will also get you in a jolly mood with our lighted Christmas tree and exterior festive light decorations.

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Parrot Key Resort offers great family accommodation options during the holidays with up to 3-bedroom options to choose from. View our accommodation options here or enjoy a range of festive activity below, in and around Key West!

Festive Holiday Events Around Key West

Christmas in Key West

Image by Florida Keys News Bureau

 

Now through Sunday, Dec. 22
Holiday Photos with a Dolphin at Dolphin Research Center (Marathon)

At Dolphin Research Center, mile marker (MM) 59 bayside on Grassy Key, visitors who participate in the Meet the Dolphin program also can pose with the dolphins for a holiday photo. Visitors can bring their holiday-themed props to pose with, and DRC’s experienced photographers will shoot the pictures using high-resolution digital cameras. The program is offered several times each day on a walk-in basis and costs $25 per person in addition to general admission prices. The photos are supplied on a flash drive for $20 for one person or $35 for multiple people in the same shot. Group size is limited to four people. Contact: 305-289-1121 or www.dolphins.org

Wednesday, Nov. 27, 6 p.m.
Key West Holiday Fest (Key West)

The harbor walk along the Historic Seaport at the Key West Bight, stretching from Greene Street to Grinnell Street, is to be festively lit from rooftops to the sea for the holiday season. Celebrate with holiday events, browse at local shops and galleries and relax at waterfront restaurants and watering holes. This and other seaport festivities are part of the inaugural Key West Holiday Fest. Contact: www.KeyWestChristmas.org or www.KeyWestHolidayFest.com

Sunday, Dec. 1, 8 p.m.
“The Messiah” (Key West)

As many as 90 singers from around the Florida Keys participate in the annual performance of George Frideric Handel’s holiday masterpiece. Directed by Dean Walters, the 31st consecutive production is to be staged at Key West United Methodist Church at the corner of Eaton and Simonton streets, and admission is free. Contact: 305-296-2392

Friday, Dec. 6, 8 p.m.
Keys Chorale 2013 Holiday Concert (Key West)

The Keys Chorale will present a holiday concert at the Key West United Methodist Church, corner of Eaton and Simonton streets. Tickets are $20 for general admission. Contact: 305-849-1474 or www.keystix.com

Parrot Key Resort Christmas Key West

 

Saturday, Dec. 7, 7 p.m.
Key West Holiday Parade (Key West)

The island city shows its holiday spirit with this annual hometown parade. Featuring marching groups and motorized and nonmotorized floats, the festive procession traditionally draws entries from churches, civic organizations, businesses and neighborhood and school groups. Starting at Truman Avenue and White Street, it proceeds down Truman to Duval, where it takes a right and continues on to Eaton Street. Contact: 305-809-3881 or visit www.keywestcity.com 

Saturday, Dec. 14, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Big Pine & Lower Keys Island Art Festival (Big Pine Key)

Experience the joys of art and music, and find some unique holiday gifts, at this festival held on the wooded grounds of the Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce, MM 31 oceanside. Family fun highlights include live music by favorite local entertainers, exhibits and booths featuring the original work of artists and artisans, raffles and vendors offering food and beverages. Parking and admission are free. Contact:305-872-2411 or www.lowerkeyschamber.com

Saturday, Dec. 14, 7 p.m.
Lower Keys Lighted Boat Parade (Lower Keys)

All boats are welcome to participate in this favorite Lower Keys holiday event sponsored by the Lower Keys Rotary Club. Santa and Mrs. Claus are expected to arrive and hand out candy to the kids. Best viewing spots include the Old Wooden Bridge Guest Cottages & Marina, No Name Key Bridge and Big Pine Community Park, all off U.S. Highway 1 at MM 31. Contact: Steve at 305-923-5370 or bigpinenews@aol.com 

Saturday, Dec. 14, 8 p.m.
Schooner Wharf Bar & Galley Lighted Boat Parade (Key West)

Festively decorated kayaks, fishing craft and schooners are to glitter in Key West’s Historic Seaport during the 23rd annual Schooner Wharf Bar Lighted Boat Parade. The Gerald Adams Elementary School Steel Your Heart Band kicks off the festivities at 6 p.m. singing holiday favorites, followed by popular family band The Doerfels. Spectators can view the dozens of participating vessels from resorts, bars and restaurants in and around the Historic Seaport. Contact: 305-292-3302 or www.schoonerwharf.com

Sunday, Dec. 15, 1-3 p.m.
Christmas on the Farm 2013 (Stock Island, Key West)

Kids and adults can visit the furry, fluffy and feathered residents of the Animal Farm and get a photo taken with Santa. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm is situated at the county’s detention center just outside Key West at 5501 College Road. This event is free and open to the public. Contact: Jeanne Selander at 305-293-7300 or www.keysso.net/miscellaneous/animal_park.htm 

Sunday, Dec. 15, 3 p.m.
Southernmost Christmas Tree Celebration (Key West)

Holiday revelers enjoy free conch chowder and then board Conch Tour Trains to proceed to the continental United States’ Southernmost Point to set up the southernmost Christmas tree at sunset overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The event is an annual community thank-you party presented by the Monroe Association for ReMAR Cable Citizens. The fun starts at 1401 Seminary St. Contact: 305-294-9526 

Friday and Saturday, Dec. 27-28, 4-7 p.m.
54th Annual Key West House & Garden Tours (Key West)

Presented by the Old Island Restoration Foundation, the annual self-guided tours showcase festively dressed Key West homes and gardens. Tickets are $30 and proceeds benefit the Old Island Restoration Foundation’s museums, collection and education, grant and scholarship programs. Contact: 305-294-9501 or www.oirf.org

New Year’s Eve

The Southernmost City celebrates with a descending 6-foot red high heel shoe carrying drag queen Sushi at the Bourbon Street Pub/New Orleans House complex, 724 Duval Street.

Tuesday, Dec. 31, 12 p.m.
Annual Key West Dachshund Walk (Key West)

The procession of pooches begins at noon at the corner of Whitehead and Fleming streets in Key West’s historic downtown. The walking route, deliberately kept brief to cater to the dachshunds’ short legs, includes a portion of the downtown area and a block of Duval Street. Many dogs wear offbeat costumes or accessories. Contact: keywestdachshundwalk@gmail.com

Tuesday, Dec. 31, just before midnight
Key West New Year’s Eve Celebrations (Key West)

The Southernmost City celebrates New Year’s Eve with a “conch shell drop” at Sloppy Joe’s Bar, 201 Duval St.; the descent of a super-sized red high-heel shoe carrying drag queen Sushi at the Bourbon St. Pub/New Orleans House complex, 724 Duval St.; the splash of a huge replica Key lime wedge into a massive margarita glass at Ocean Key Resort’s Sunset Pier and the descent of a pirate wench from atop a tall ship’s mast in the island city’s Historic Seaport. Contact: 305-296-2388, ext. 121, for the conch shell drop; 305-293-9800 for the high-heel drop; 305-295-7005 for the Key lime splash and 305-292-3302 for the descent of the pirate wench

New Year's Eve in Key West

Image by Florida Keys News Bureau

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A Florida Keys Christmas is Brighter With the Key West Holiday Fest

Seasonal celebrations in a subtropical setting characterize the Key West Holiday Fest, set for Nov. 27 through New Year’s Eve in the continental United States’ southernmost city. Scheduled highlights include festivities at the Key West Bight Marina, the historic heart of the island’s seaport commerce.

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Events are to begin Thanksgiving Eve with the ceremonial illuminating of the Key West Harbor Walk of Lights, stretching along the harbor area from Greene to Grinnell streets, at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 27.

Nautical holiday displays and island-style decorations are to add seasonal sparkle to the unique waterfront landscape, as are tempting food and drinks, intriguing gift possibilities and a variety of watersports options offered by area emporiums.

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Visitors can explore Key West’s historic inns, beautifully decorated for the holidays, during tours on two consecutive Fridays, Dec. 6 and 13. Even pets can catch the holiday spirit Friday, Dec. 13, during a pet photo session with Santa set for 5-8 p.m. beside the harbor walk Christmas tree at the foot of William Street. Admission is free and the $10 photo charge benefits the Boys & Girls Club of Key West.

Admission also is free for a 6-8 p.m. concert Saturday, Dec. 21, at the Greene and Elizabeth streets plaza on the harbor walk. Classical violin and Celtic fiddle compositions of favorite seasonal tunes are to be performed by Violins in Motion, consisting of talented South Florida and international students.

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Additional events during the festival include the island city’s hometown holiday parade Saturday, Dec. 7, the annual Schooner Wharf Bar & Galley Lighted Boat Parade Saturday, Dec. 14, and a holiday-themed classic car show set for the following day.

Decorations along the Harbor Walk of Lights are to remain on display through Dec. 31.

www.keywestholidayfest.com

 

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Christmas in Key West: Florida Keys Holiday Activities

The Florida Keys and Key West offer an array of festive fun during the holiday season. From holiday events, lighted boat parades, and more… Key West is just the place to enjoy the festive spirit. Parrot Key Resort will also get you in a jolly mood with our lighted Christmas tree and exterior festive light decorations.

IMG_2597

Parrot Key Resort offers great family accommodation options during the holidays with up to 3-bedroom options to choose from. View our accommodation options here or enjoy a range of festive activity below, in and around Key West!

Festive Holiday Events Around Key West

Christmas in Key West

Image by Florida Keys News Bureau

 

Now through Sunday, Dec. 22
Holiday Photos with a Dolphin at Dolphin Research Center (Marathon)

At Dolphin Research Center, mile marker (MM) 59 bayside on Grassy Key, visitors who participate in the Meet the Dolphin program also can pose with the dolphins for a holiday photo. Visitors can bring their holiday-themed props to pose with, and DRC’s experienced photographers will shoot the pictures using high-resolution digital cameras. The program is offered several times each day on a walk-in basis and costs $25 per person in addition to general admission prices. The photos are supplied on a flash drive for $20 for one person or $35 for multiple people in the same shot. Group size is limited to four people. Contact: 305-289-1121 or www.dolphins.org

Wednesday, Nov. 27, 6 p.m.
Key West Holiday Fest (Key West)

The harbor walk along the Historic Seaport at the Key West Bight, stretching from Greene Street to Grinnell Street, is to be festively lit from rooftops to the sea for the holiday season. Celebrate with holiday events, browse at local shops and galleries and relax at waterfront restaurants and watering holes. This and other seaport festivities are part of the inaugural Key West Holiday Fest. Contact: www.KeyWestChristmas.org or www.KeyWestHolidayFest.com

Sunday, Dec. 1, 8 p.m.
“The Messiah” (Key West)

As many as 90 singers from around the Florida Keys participate in the annual performance of George Frideric Handel’s holiday masterpiece. Directed by Dean Walters, the 31st consecutive production is to be staged at Key West United Methodist Church at the corner of Eaton and Simonton streets, and admission is free. Contact: 305-296-2392

Friday, Dec. 6, 8 p.m.
Keys Chorale 2013 Holiday Concert (Key West)

The Keys Chorale will present a holiday concert at the Key West United Methodist Church, corner of Eaton and Simonton streets. Tickets are $20 for general admission. Contact: 305-849-1474 or www.keystix.com

Parrot Key Resort Christmas Key West

 

Saturday, Dec. 7, 7 p.m.
Key West Holiday Parade (Key West)

The island city shows its holiday spirit with this annual hometown parade. Featuring marching groups and motorized and nonmotorized floats, the festive procession traditionally draws entries from churches, civic organizations, businesses and neighborhood and school groups. Starting at Truman Avenue and White Street, it proceeds down Truman to Duval, where it takes a right and continues on to Eaton Street. Contact: 305-809-3881 or visit www.keywestcity.com 

Saturday, Dec. 14, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Big Pine & Lower Keys Island Art Festival (Big Pine Key)

Experience the joys of art and music, and find some unique holiday gifts, at this festival held on the wooded grounds of the Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce, MM 31 oceanside. Family fun highlights include live music by favorite local entertainers, exhibits and booths featuring the original work of artists and artisans, raffles and vendors offering food and beverages. Parking and admission are free. Contact:305-872-2411 or www.lowerkeyschamber.com

Saturday, Dec. 14, 7 p.m.
Lower Keys Lighted Boat Parade (Lower Keys)

All boats are welcome to participate in this favorite Lower Keys holiday event sponsored by the Lower Keys Rotary Club. Santa and Mrs. Claus are expected to arrive and hand out candy to the kids. Best viewing spots include the Old Wooden Bridge Guest Cottages & Marina, No Name Key Bridge and Big Pine Community Park, all off U.S. Highway 1 at MM 31. Contact: Steve at 305-923-5370 or bigpinenews@aol.com 

Saturday, Dec. 14, 8 p.m.
Schooner Wharf Bar & Galley Lighted Boat Parade (Key West)

Festively decorated kayaks, fishing craft and schooners are to glitter in Key West’s Historic Seaport during the 23rd annual Schooner Wharf Bar Lighted Boat Parade. The Gerald Adams Elementary School Steel Your Heart Band kicks off the festivities at 6 p.m. singing holiday favorites, followed by popular family band The Doerfels. Spectators can view the dozens of participating vessels from resorts, bars and restaurants in and around the Historic Seaport. Contact: 305-292-3302 or www.schoonerwharf.com

Sunday, Dec. 15, 1-3 p.m.
Christmas on the Farm 2013 (Stock Island, Key West)

Kids and adults can visit the furry, fluffy and feathered residents of the Animal Farm and get a photo taken with Santa. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm is situated at the county’s detention center just outside Key West at 5501 College Road. This event is free and open to the public. Contact: Jeanne Selander at 305-293-7300 or www.keysso.net/miscellaneous/animal_park.htm 

Sunday, Dec. 15, 3 p.m.
Southernmost Christmas Tree Celebration (Key West)

Holiday revelers enjoy free conch chowder and then board Conch Tour Trains to proceed to the continental United States’ Southernmost Point to set up the southernmost Christmas tree at sunset overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The event is an annual community thank-you party presented by the Monroe Association for ReMAR Cable Citizens. The fun starts at 1401 Seminary St. Contact: 305-294-9526 

Friday and Saturday, Dec. 27-28, 4-7 p.m.
54th Annual Key West House & Garden Tours (Key West)

Presented by the Old Island Restoration Foundation, the annual self-guided tours showcase festively dressed Key West homes and gardens. Tickets are $30 and proceeds benefit the Old Island Restoration Foundation’s museums, collection and education, grant and scholarship programs. Contact: 305-294-9501 or www.oirf.org

New Year’s Eve

The Southernmost City celebrates with a descending 6-foot red high heel shoe carrying drag queen Sushi at the Bourbon Street Pub/New Orleans House complex, 724 Duval Street.

Tuesday, Dec. 31, 12 p.m.
Annual Key West Dachshund Walk (Key West)

The procession of pooches begins at noon at the corner of Whitehead and Fleming streets in Key West’s historic downtown. The walking route, deliberately kept brief to cater to the dachshunds’ short legs, includes a portion of the downtown area and a block of Duval Street. Many dogs wear offbeat costumes or accessories. Contact: keywestdachshundwalk@gmail.com

Tuesday, Dec. 31, just before midnight
Key West New Year’s Eve Celebrations (Key West)

The Southernmost City celebrates New Year’s Eve with a “conch shell drop” at Sloppy Joe’s Bar, 201 Duval St.; the descent of a super-sized red high-heel shoe carrying drag queen Sushi at the Bourbon St. Pub/New Orleans House complex, 724 Duval St.; the splash of a huge replica Key lime wedge into a massive margarita glass at Ocean Key Resort’s Sunset Pier and the descent of a pirate wench from atop a tall ship’s mast in the island city’s Historic Seaport. Contact: 305-296-2388, ext. 121, for the conch shell drop; 305-293-9800 for the high-heel drop; 305-295-7005 for the Key lime splash and 305-292-3302 for the descent of the pirate wench

New Year's Eve in Key West

Image by Florida Keys News Bureau

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10 Reasons to Visit Key West in January

January Key West Events You Won’t Want to Miss

January is a majestic time to visit Key West. While many are fighting winter’s bite, the Keys are engulfed in tropical serenity. New Year’s Day and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day offer two great holidays, but even throughout the month, Key West has so much to offer with exciting events.

Take time to exhale in January with our top 10 reasons to visit Key West.

Parrot Key rates start from $229/night in January. Call (855) 327-7200 today.

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Discover 10 Reasons to Visit Key West in January

1.) January 9 – 19
32nd Annual Key West Literary Seminar

The 2014 seminar includes two independent sessions (Jan. 9-12 & 16-19) exploring the theme “The Dark Side.” Writing workshops are scheduled Jan. 12-16. Advance registration is required. A stunning lineup of celebrated authors who are to explore the mystery, crime and literary thriller genres includes Carl Hiaase, Scott Turow, Les Standiford and many more. Contact: 888-293-9291

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(Image by the Key West Literary Seminar)


2.) January 11
Tropical Beats, Tantalizing Musical Excursions!

Celebrate the Symphony’s 2013-14 Season with “The Humanity of Music,” Program includes a piano trio and Blue Door String Quartet; Karl Goldmark: String Quartet in B Flat, Opus 8; Ellen Zwilich: Septet for String Quartet and Piano Trio. Tickets $150 per person, performance at Tennessee Williams Cabaret, starts 5:30 p.m. Contact: 954-522-8445


3.) January 17 – 18
Key West Historic House & Garden Tours

Tour a series of elegant and unique private homes of Key West, ranging from exquisite restorations to creative renovations, and the interior design that complements their architecture and adds a unique Key West flavor. The January house tour is set for 4-8 p.m. both evenings. Proceeds help benefit the Old Island Restoration Foundation. Contact: 305-294-9501 or Email: tickets@oirf.org 


4.) January 18 – 19
Ninth Annual Florida Keys Seafood Festival

A family-friendly event with local fresh Keys seafood, drinks, marine-related crafts, youth activities, and live music. Free admission; hours open from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Bayview Park at Truman Avenue and Jose Marti Drive. Fresh Florida Keys seafood and the commercial fishermen who harvest it are to be celebrated. The seafood festival’s menu features fresh grilled Florida lobster, Key West pink shrimp, fried fish, stone crab claws, smoked fish dip and more. All seafood is to be prepared and served by local fishermen and their families. Soft drinks, beer and wine also are to be available for purchase. In addition, plans call for nonstop entertainment by local musicians. Contact: Vicki 305-872-9026 or Email: vicki@fkcfa.org

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(Image by Florida Keys Seafood Festival)


5.) January 19 – 24
Premier Racing presents: Key West Race Week

The annual challenge features world-class competition and yachting teams from more than 12 countries and 24 American states. More than 100 racing yachts compete for class championships in this international regatta. To view the action, fans can book seats on spectator boats ranging from excursion catamarans to historic tall ships or from land at Key West’s Atlantic-front restaurants and beaches. Contact: 781-639-9545

race week
(Image by Premier Racing)


6.) January 19
Key West Half Marathon & 5k

The perfect place to run in the middle of winter? Key West, during the Key West Half Marathon! Recognized by Runners World magazine as one of the 10 great half-marathons of the winter season, the run has attracted more than 1,000 annual participants and follows a 13.1-mile course through Old Town Key West past historic landmarks and the island’s scenic waterfront. Contact: Barbara Wright 305-240-0727


7.) January 20 – 27
Kelly McGillis Flag Football Championship

Women and girls from around the United States and the world gather in Key West for hard-fought sporting action. Each year dozens of teams from the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Europe are invited to compete in the challenge, named for and endorsed by the critically acclaimed actress and former Key West resident who starred in “Top Gun” and “Witness” among other films. Contact: Daashia Cochran 305-834-0801 or Email: usadirector@iwffa.com


8.) January 22 – 26
Key West Food & Wine Festival

Top chefs and restaurateurs showcase their culinary creativity and the Keys’ indigenous cuisine in a tasty schedule of events for food lovers. Attendees also can participate in food-related adventures during the savory celebration. Tickets go on sale Nov. 1. Contact: 800-474-4319; 305-304-5218 or Email: info@keywestfoodandwinefestival.com

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(Image by Rachel Ligon)


9.) January 26
20th Annual Key West Master Chefs Classic

Local restaurants vie for top honors in three categories; appetizers, entrees and desserts. Participants get to taste all the food made at this event while judges pick the winners. Held at Westin Key West Resort & Marina Pier at 245 Front Street, open from 4-7 p.m. Event proceeds benefit the nonprofit ReMARCable Citizens (MARC). Tickets are to be available Nov. 1, at keystix.comContact: 305-294-9526, ext 25


10.) January 30
Double Speak and Hidden Meanings

The South Florida Symphony is a unique gathering of professional symphonic musicians. Performance starts at 7:30 p.m. at Tennessee Williams Cabaret Theatre. Program includes Liszt: Hamlet: Symphonic Poem No. 10; Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3; Christopher Taylor, piano: Shostakovich: Symphony No. 10. Contact: 954-522-8445

Call (855) 327-7200 today to book your stay

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