Spring Events in the Florida Keys

Snowbirds & RV Travelers - - Contents - Cour­tesy Florida Keys & Key West Vis­i­tor In­for­ma­tion

Key West’s Conch Shell Blow­ing Con­test – March 4 For over 50 years, this unique is­land tra­di­tion has proudly cel­e­brated the his­toric im­por­tance of conch in the Keys. En­trants are chal­lenged to pro­duce melodic sounds by blow­ing into the shell that is renowned as a sym­bol of the Florida Keys, and are judged on the qual­ity, du­ra­tion and loud­ness of the sounds they pro­duce. Con­tes­tants typ­i­cally range from tod­dlers to se­niors and multi-person en­sem­bles also can par­tic­i­pate, some­times com­ple­ment­ing their “conch honk­ing” with off­beat dance num­bers. The con­test kicks off at noon in the gar­dens of the Old­est House on renowned Du­val Street. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.oirf.org/event.php?id=10.

Is­lam­orada Win­ter Fish­ing Clas­sic Week­end – late Feb An­glers of all ages can com­pete in this fam­ily-friendly fish­ing tour­na­ment tar­get­ing nine off­shore species. The tour­na­ment’s weight/re­lease for­mat pro­motes the Keys’ re­spon­si­ble use of its re­sources and main­te­nance of healthy fish­eries. Tar­get species in­clude sail­fish, bar­racuda, dol­phin fish, co­bia, wa­hoo, tuna, mack­erel, hog­fish and snap­per. Com­peti­tors can en­ter in teams of up to six an­glers and are scored on five re­leases of each of the el­i­gi­ble species per day. Win­ners in each age di­vi­sion will be awarded for the most re­leases on a daily and over­all ba­sis. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.is­lam­orada­clas­sic.com.

Key Largo’s 37th An­nual Gar­den Walk 2016 – Feb. 27 This unique self-guided tour show­cases beau­ti­ful pri­vate gar­den prop­er­ties in the Up­per Keys, from a trop­i­cal paradise to a Zen gar­den — as well as the grounds of the Florida Keys Wild Bird Cen­ter. The event also in­cludes a gar­den tea party at the his­toric Fran­cis Tracy Gar­den Cen­ter, mile marker 94 in Tav­ernier. Among the party’s planned at­trac­tions are mu­sic, ar­ti­san booths, plant sales, re­fresh­ments and the Birds in Na­ture Art Show by the Art Guild of the Purple Isles. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.gar­den­clubup­perkeys.org/gar­den­walk.html.

Ten­nessee Wil­liams Birth­day Cel­e­bra­tion – Feb 26 to April 15 Cel­e­brate the 106th birth­day of in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned play­wright Ten­nessee Wil­liams, his work and his life in Key West. Born March 26, 1911, Wil­liams lived in Key West with his part­ner Frank Merlo and helped shape the is­land’s lit­er­ary cul­ture. Each year in his hon­our Den­nis Beaver, founder and cu­ra­tor of the Ten­nessee Wil­liams Key West Ex­hibit, holds the Ten­nessee Wil­liams Birth­day Cel­e­bra­tion. Events

in­clude Mon­day night screen­ings of Wil­liams’ films at Key West’s Tropic Cinema, a film fo­rum, con­tests for writ­ers and artists, the open­ing of a per­ma­nent ex­hi­bi­tion of Wil­liams’ orig­i­nal paint­ings at the Cus­tom House Mu­seum, and a birth­day re­cep­tion at the Ten­nessee Wil­liams Cen­ter at 513 Tru­man Ave. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.twkw.org.

Orig­i­nal Marathon Seafood Fes­ti­val – March 11-12 As one of the Mid­dle Keys’ sig­na­ture fam­ily events, this an­nual taste­bud-tempt­ing fes­ti­val at Marathon Com­mu­nity Park high­lights the del­i­ca­cies of the Florida Keys’ wa­ters. Seafood lovers line up for gen­er­ous plates dur­ing the “fish­er­man to fork” feast as lo­cal chefs show­case their tal­ents, pre­par­ing the foods ac­cord­ing to Keys-based recipes. Fes­ti­val­go­ers also can take in live mu­sic, a Keys artists’ vil­lage, unique ven­dor booths, events for chil­dren, sweets, treats and bev­er­ages, all adding up to a de­lec­ta­ble week­end. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.marathon­seafood­fes­ti­val.com.

Florida Keys Na­tional Wildlife Refuges Out­door Fest – March 11-18 En­joy four ac­tion-packed days of fam­ily-friendly out­door ad­ven­tures and hands-on ac­tiv­i­ties in­clud­ing guided bird­ing and na­ture walks, a nat­u­ral his­tory bike ride, kayak ex­cur­sions, art and pho­tog­ra­phy work­shops, the an­nual Run With Deer 5K on Big Pine Key and more. The fes­ti­val is co-spon­sored by the Friends and Vol­un­teers of Refuges and the Florida Keys Na­tional Wildlife Refuges. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.fa­vor­flori­dakeys.org.

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