Events & Festivals
Nov. 4, 2018 – Nov. 11, 2018
37th Annual Key West World Championship Races
Super Boat International returns with teams from all around the world who compete April through October in the National Series Points races and conclude in November for the famous Key West World Championships. High-speed offshore powerboats race in Key West Harbor and surrounding waters to continue Key West’s longstanding tradition in this annual challenge, known internationally as the Indianapolis 500 of powerboat racing. A portion of the 6.5-mile course runs through Key West Harbor, meaning smooth water where racers can achieve speeds above 140 mph and provide fans breathtaking displays of skill and power.
Nov. 14, 2018 – Nov. 18, 2018
Key West Film Festival
Beth Moyes 305-747-8563
Showcasing films that exhibit excellence in storytelling, the festival’s lineup is to feature screenings and special events hosted at landmark venues throughout Key West, including the San Carlos Institute, Studios of Key West and Key West Theater. The four-day program is to include several films from multiple genres and categories as well as social events with filmmakers, actors and film lovers.
Nov. 16, 2018 – Nov. 17, 2018
The Avett Brothers at the Key West Amphitheater
Known for their live performances that blend bluegrass roots with the fierce fire of a rock show and an emotional, near-gospel spirit, The Avett Brothers are no strangers to major venues: for past summers, they have sold out three nights at Colorado’s legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater. They’re also a staple on the festival circuit, frequenting the likes of Bonnaroo and Shakey Knees. Gates open 6 p.m., shows start 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 21, 2018 – Nov. 25, 2018
International Sand Art Competition
Visitors can watch leading U.S. and international sand sculptors construct and display large-scale creations over Thanksgiving weekend on the Atlantic Ocean beach at the Casa Marina Resort, 1500 Reynolds St. The competition brings together incredibly talented sand sculptors from all around the world. The sculptors, each using seven tons of sand, have four days to create their works of art with just sand and water. Watch these artists at work, create your own sand castle, have a drink or two and enjoy live island music.
Dec. 1, 2018
Key West Triathlon and Expo
The Key West Triathlon and Expo expects to host a maximum of 1,000 participants and some of the sport’s best known triathletes; TRIKW allows you to bask in the warm weather and the waters of the Atlantic Ocean while the rest of the country is experiencing winter. Olympic and Sprint distances.
Dec. 5, 2018
Key West Lighted Bike Ride
Claire Hiller at 305-809-5000
The Lighted Bike Ride helps to gather the needed toys for the struggling, working families of Key West for the holidays. At the Holiday Helpers Store, eligible parents walk through the store, empowered by the ability to pick free, new toys their children will want instead of just allocating non-specific toys to parents. The ride is a family event beginning with a registration/checkin at 6 p.m. with the Lighted Bike Ride beginning at 7:00 p.m. Families and individuals with lighted and decorated bikes ride through the streets for the community to see. Registration for the ride is one unwrapped toy for the Key West Holiday Store. Register online.
Dec. 8, 2018 – Dec. 16, 2018
Nutcracker Key West
Box office 305-295-7676
Inspired by the unique and colorful environment of the Florida Keys, Clara and her young Prince encounter enchanted landscapes complete with snowy egrets on shimmering salt ponds, a wicked Rooster-King, an exquisite Sea-Star Fairy, and “underwater” sequences of almost unimaginable beauty. Local children, adults and community leaders are cast alongside a nationally-cast corps de ballet in this spectacularly crafted semi-annual production of a beloved classic. Shows held at the Tennessee Williams Theatre.
Dec. 9, 2018
Christmas on the Sheriff’s Animal Farm
From 1-3 p.m., kids and adults can visit the furry, fluffy and feathered residents of the Animal Farm and petting zoo 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. The Sheriff’s Animal Farm is open the second and fourth Sundays of the month.
Dec. 15, 2018
28th Annual Schooner Wharf Bar Annual Lighted Boat Parade
Lighted and decorated vessels from rowboats to tall ships proceed around Key West’s Historic Seaport and harbor areas. Festivities are to begin at 6 p.m. with the children of Gerald Adams Elementary Steel Your Heart Band! Parade is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Holiday revelers can watch and applaud from bars, restaurants and resorts in and around the Historic Seaport as vessels of all shapes and sizes dazzle the crowd.
Dec. 15, 2018
Fifth Annual Parade of Paws and Shopping Bazaar
Bring your dogs, wear a t-shirt with a picture of your kitty with pride, or walk with a paddle displaying your pet’s photo! Shopping Bazaar inside the dog park features entertainment, food vendors, a Kissing Booth, holiday gifts for that special snuggle bug and more! A unique opportunity to support the lifesaving mission caring for the Keys’ community’s homeless animals, the event supports the Florida Keys SPCA. Check in is 9 a.m. Event is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Higgs Beach, at the Higgs Dog Park. Bring four-legged friends to meet reigning King and Queen, Tigger and Cat!
Dec. 28, 2018 – Dec. 29, 2018
59th Annual Key West House & Garden Tours
Presented by the Old Island Restoration Foundation, the annual self-guided tours from 3-7 p.m. each day showcase festively dressed Key West homes and gardens. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 day-of-tour. Proceeds benefit the foundation’s museum and programs.
Dec. 31, 2018
New Year’s Eve: Conch Shell Drop at Sloppy Joe’s
The arrival of 2019 is to be heralded on the island’s Duval Street with the “drop” of a gigantic manmade conch shell, the symbol of the Florida Keys, to the flat roof of Sloppy Joe’s Bar, 201 Duval. Thousands of spectators gather on Duval for the annual gala, emceed by a rooftop host starting at 10 p.m. and featuring dancing in the street and a countdown to midnight recorded on a huge clock.
Dec. 31, 2018
New Year’s Eve: Pirate Wench Drop at Schooner Wharf
For piratical partiers, a New Year’s Eve salute to Key West’s rowdy seafaring roots is scheduled at the island’s Historic Seaport. At midnight, a winsome pirate wench is to descend from the top of the mast of the tall ship America 2.0 as cannon blasts welcome 2018. Scallywags in attendance can expect live music all day, dancing and festivities at the Schooner Wharf Bar, 202 William St.
Dec. 31, 2018
New Year’s Eve Shoe Drop Celebration
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 St. Seconds before midnight, the high heel bearing a lavishly gowned and coiffed Sushi is to be lowered from the second-story balcony of the complex toward the cheering crowds below. As midnight strikes and the New Year officially begins, she will land and gleefully pop the cork on a ceremonial bottle of champagne.
Dec. 31, 2018
Key West Dachshund Walk
Frost-free Key West becomes a “wiener wonderland” when about 200 dachshunds and their owners take a noontime New Year’s Eve stroll through the island’s picturesque downtown. Spectators can watch the fun and meet the canine participants on Fleming Street between Whitehead and Duval streets.