Events & Festivals
Annual events like Hemingway Days, the Key Lime Festival, and Fantasy Fest turn the island into one big get-together, with street fairs, impromptu dance parties and parades. Don’t miss out! Check out our events and festivals guide to know what activities coincide with your stay in Key West.
Celebrate Key lime pie, local seafood and Cuban fare all year long in Key West. Check out our favorite annual food fests you can only find in the Conch Republic.
Get in on the music! Shows played outdoors or in venues along Duval Street offer something for everyone.
Avoid rookie mistakes and enjoy 10 days of pure fantasy.
Here’s a look at concerts and shows coming to the Conch Republic later this year.
Here are some lesser-known sunshine state brews set to pour during this year’s celebration of hops, malt and barley.
Is it too early for you to start planning?
Lobsterfest is a time to celebrate the opening of spiny lobster season in Key West and all its delicious variations.
Recreational anglers have two days to catch rock lobsters before commercial fisherman.The mini lobster falls on July 25-26 this year.
Fantasy Fest regulars know that the island’s biggest annual event is just around the corner, and there’s no better time to book than now!
Arm wrestling, the Hemingway look-alike contest, running of the bulls, marlin tournament ... come celebrate Papa Hemingway's birthday in Key West.
There’s no better way to spend the 4th of July than joining the island of eccentrics for special events honoring our favorite citrus, Key lime.
Pride Week is just around the corner, and thousands are expected to come and to be part of the “One Human Family” that is the Key West community.
Guests will be able to choose between 3 live DJs simply by switching channels on their headphones.
Check out the different acts set to perform in the Conch Republic early this year.
The Florida Keys Seafood Festival is a time to celebrate and sample the fresh seafood harvest, supplied by the local fishermen and women of The Keys.
Check out the nature exhibits in Key West.
Ringing in the New Year with us? Here are some New Year’s Eve Key West traditions to check out.
There is no greater joy than sending beach photos to relatives during the holidays while they’re up north freezing their wits off.
The must-attend events for this year's Fantasy Fest: Time Travel Unravels.
Here we’ve rounded up the events you can’t miss during Meeting of the Minds 2017
Goombay is a family-friendly street party that celebrates the rich music, food, dance and cultures of the area’s Caribbean heritage.
Here we’ve compiled a list of things to know if you’re in Key West for the week of the offshore powerboat races.
Fantasy Fest is just about upon us, but it’s hard to be totally prepared for the island’s party of the year.
For who have attended Fantasy Fest before already know, the more the alcohol flows, the less clothes everybody seems to be wearing.
Because of year-round sunny skies and temperate weather, Key West has no need to wrap up the summer nor hibernate.
Singer-songwriter Donavon Frankenreiter will be at the Key West Theater on Sept. 3, playing songs from his most recent album, “The Heart.”
Key West BrewFest is a fitting way to celebrate the end of summer over Labor Day weekend.
Photo courtesy of Mel Fisher.
We’re fascinated by local treasure-hunter Mel Fisher and his 16-year long search for the sunken Spanish galleon, Nuestra Señora de Atocha.
One of our favorite festivals is just around the corner. Starting July 18 and running through July 23, it’s Hemingway Days, Key West annual celebration of all things Papa Hemingway.
There’s no fruit we love more than the key lime. From our national dessert, the key lime pie, to key limeade, key lime cocktails and even key lime rum, we take every chance we can get to use this little fruit.
If there’s ever a place to spend Pride, Key West is it. Key West is open, inviting and always a good time. And that’s on a normal day.
Next month, it’s the 22nd annual Key West Songwriters Festival, one of the biggest and most emblematic of the Key West state of mind.
Only in Key West can you run a Zero K race. And that race is the Cow Key Channel Bridge Run.
In Key West, we love any excuse for a party. And when it’s honoring one of our own, even better. That’s why Tennessee William’s March birthday is a national [Conch Republic] holiday. We drink wine and eat cake. But it’s not just on March 26 that us Conchs honor the famous American playwright - it’s all month. After all, Tennessee Williams called Key West home for over forty years. It’s only right we honor him. Starting February 28, 2017, the Tennessee Williams festivities begin. But here are some we’re especially looking forward to
Every January, Key West stuffs itself with some of the best cuisine that south Florida has to offer during the Key West Food & Wine Festival. From tastings and seminars to tours, the festival boasts everything your heart – and stomach – can desire. And this year, we here at 24 North aren’t just participating, we’re hosting, too.
January 22 - February 3, 2017.
Key West may be 90 miles to Cuba, but that doesn’t mean it’s always been easy for Americans to get there. Leave it to a few dedicated Conch skippers to make that happen. As is now tradition, every January Conchs race from Key West to Varadero, Cuba, then to Havana, and back to Key West.
Marked by yachts and crews from all over the world, Key West Race Week brings one of the most important international regattas to the waters off the Conch Republic. With a wide array of sailboats, ranging from the popular J/70s to the C&C 30s, Key West Race Week appeals to not only the serious competitor, but also the weekend enthusiast.
For those of you looking to kick your New Year’s resolutions into full gear, the annual Key West Half-Marathon is just around the corner. Continually ranked as one of the best destination half-marathons in the United States, the Key West Half-Marathon is always a good time - and if you’re a regular runner, it’s a breeze.
Although Key West only covers 7 square miles, it seems like every inch of Old Town is covered in New Year's Eve festivities. From drag queens to parrotheads, there's a party for just about everybody, as the island's myriad of NYE celebrations cater to a wide range of personalities, much like Key West itself. No matter which you choose, you can count on a good time. That said, here are some of the most popular events year after year.
November 6 – 13, 2016
Every November, the world’s biggest and fastest offshore racing series comes to Key West. Super Boat International, or Powerboat, as it’s referred to in Key West, is a week-long powerboating series featuring races, shows, parades, and parties, culminating in the grand-daddy of the super boat season, the world championships. That means the world’s fastest boats going full throttle, speeding through Key West waters in pursuit of the world championship title. Engines roaring, these boats practically fly across the water, reaching speeds well over 100 miles per hour, all making the the annual Powerboat Championships a must see, racing fanatic or not.
Fantasy Fest isn’t all body paint and crazy costumes, it also channels that island vibe we love so much about Key West. Kicking off the Conch Republic’s most infamous festival,Bahama Village Goombay gets the party started with a true Caribbean celebration, just like in the Bahamas. Held on the first Friday and Saturday of Fantasy Fest , this is one tropical dance party you don’t want to miss.
Fall in Key West means one thing for us - Fantasy Fest - the wildest party on the island and quite possibly the country. Fantasy Fest is 10 days of outrageous costumes, intoxicating debauchery, and parties galore. Started over 30 years ago as a way to encourage tourism during Key West’s low season, Fantasy Fest has now turned October into high season in Key West. That said, book your room as soon as possible – they always go fast.
September 15-18, 2016
Pull your bike out of the garage and hammer down to Key West for the 44th annual Phil Peterson’s Poker Run. Win or lose, the Key West Poker Run is a prime excuse to dust off the bike and ride down one of the most scenic routes in all of America. It’s also an even better excuse for a party. After all, proceeds from the Key West Poker Run go to the Diabetes Research Institute and the Sunrise Rotary Club.
Thursday, August 11- Sunday, August 14, 2016
With Florida lobster season kicking off the first week in August, Key West Lobsterfest isn’t far behind. Thrown in honor of the Florida spiny lobster, this festival is easily the island’s tastiest long weekend.
At 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, July 27, 2016, you can catch your very own lobster in the Florida Keys. But come 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 29, 2016, and the harvesting of lobster is once again prohibited. This “mini” lobster season is just that – mini - hence the name, “Mini-Lobster Season.”
Key West and Ernest Hemingway go way back. In the 1930s, Hemingway didn’t just have a house in Key West, he called Key West home. Whether he was officiating boxing matches at Blue Heaven or drinking with Joe Russell at Sloppy Joe’s, Hemingway had a strong presence on the island. And Conch Republicans like to keep that presence alive each July with a week-long party.
Whether you’re visiting Key West to cut loose or to adventure, there are some things you just can’t miss during your stay in the Conch Republic. Here are 24 North’s picks for the must-see attractions in Key West.
From parties and pageants to relays and races, Key West Pride is one of the most vibrant parties on the island, and we at 24 North are proud to be celebrating in our beloved Conch Republic.
It wouldn’t be May in Key West without the annual Songwriter’s Festival. This iconic festival honors the artists who write the hits for big billboard acts, but don’t perform them. Songwriter’s is an opportunity for these artists to perform their songs and tell the stories behind them. Headlining this year’s 21st annual festival are Jake Owen, Robert Earl Keen, Rhett Akins and Natalie Hemby.
On April 23, 1982, Key West seceded from the United States, and the Conch Republic was born. The story goes that the U.S. Border Patrol set up a roadblock on one of the two roads that connects the archipelago to the mainland, causing a 17-mile traffic jam on the island. Seeing this act as a threat to their livelihood and the tourism industry, Key West residents protested. However, they didn’t use banners, signs and marches – they seceded.