Fall into the HAPPENINGS- Pumpkins, Cats and Burlesque- this week in the Florida Keys!
The Florida Keys / October 15 – May 15
Stone Crab Season
Those succulent claws, brought to shore fresh daily from the waters surrounding the Florida Keys, will drip with drawn butter and mustard sauce on the chins of hungry locals and visitors. A series of food festivals during the season celebrate the sustainable seafood resource throughout the Keys.
The Upper Keys:
In Key Largo and Islamorada, where KeysCaribbean Luxury Resorts and Marinas has two exclusive locations -Mariners Resort Villas & Marina and the Historic Tavernier Inn
Islamorada / October 13 – 16
Islamorada All-Tackle Bonefish & Permit Championship
Known locally as the “Fall All-Tackle,” the three-day challenge attracts energized newcomers to face seasoned veterans, in a competitive format since 1970. Up to 25 participants can fish in the tournament. One angler per boat pairs with a licensed captain to vie for division winners’ trophies. Permit has been added to the 2013 challenge for the first time, and the three largest bonefish and three largest permit are to be scored by length, not weight.
Contact: Betsy Bullard 305-587-1460
Islamorada / October 17
Showcasing the fine arts, music and culinary nuances of the Purple Isles, the Morada Way Arts & Cultural District features national and local artisans who are showcased in galleries at Morada Way between mile marker 81 and 82 – formerly named Industrial Road – as well as “culinary art” and live music from 6-9 p.m. In addition to individual artists, participating galleries include the Redbone Gallery, Gallery Morada, Pasta Pantaleo Signature Gallery and Bluewater Potters. Free admission. Art Walk is held the third Thursday of each month.
Islamorada / October 18 – 19
A top boat prize of $5,000 cash and a trophy is to be awarded to the team scoring the highest cumulative weight of the tournament’s target species — dolphin, kingfish, tuna and wahoo. The second-place team is to receive $1,000 and a trophy, and $500 and a trophy apiece are to be awarded to the anglers who catch the heaviest of each of the target species. Additional trophies await the top female and junior anglers as well those catching the top grouper and snapper. Former Miami Dolphins players are to appear as guest hosts and anglers in the event, and are to be confirmed as the tournament nears, according to organizers.
Contact: Leah 305-667-0399
Islamorada / October 18 – 19
Celebrating more than a decade as a charity “FUNdraiser” helping control feral cat populations of the Upper Keys, this all-release event targets bonefish, permit, tarpon, snook, redfish, as well as ladyfish, shark, jacks and trout. Highlights include the wildly successful silent auction and “Litter Box Dig” for prizes, and the Cat-Fish trophy, a handmade sculpture of (what else?) a cat and a fish, given to the lady with the largest catfish. Casting for Cats is a volunteer group who freely gives time and support for the feral cats of the Upper Keys. The non-profit charity donates all the money raised for stays in the Upper Keys at the spay/neuter clinic and caring for feral cats. Female anglers compete for awards in numerous categories and divisions (bait, artificial and fly).
Contact: Sharon 305-393-6174
Key Largo / October 19
Divers become underwater artists as they turn pumpkins into Halloween masterpieces beneath the sea in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Prizes such as dive trips are awarded the most creative jack-o-lantern. Entry fee is $85 per certified diver for the 8:30 a.m. two-tank, two-location dive including tanks, weights and snorkel equipment. Space is limited, contact Amoray Dive Resort to make reservations.
The Middle Keys:
In the Middle Keys, KeysCaribbean Luxury Resorts and Marinas has the Village at Hawks Cay Villas on Duck Key, Indigo Reef Resort Villas & Marina and the Coral Lagoon Resort Villas & Marina vacation rentals in Marathon
Marathon / October 19
The much-anticipated opening of Florida’s stone crab season takes place Oct. 15 each year, and the season opening is followed by this tasty test of crab-consuming capacity. How fast can you crack and cleanly consume 25 stone crab claws? Test your munching mettle at this zany contest. Register by 12 p.m., contest starts at 1 p.m., entry fee is $25 per contestant, and individuals must be at least 18 years old to enter. Interested eaters are encouraged to register early.
The Lower Keys:
In the Lower Keys, KeysCaribbean Luxury Resorts and Marinas has the Coral Hammock Resort Villas and Kings Point Marina & Condominiums vacation rentals
Key West / April 6 – November 30
More than 40 species of fish are targeted during these months, with divisions for men, women, junior anglers (ages 10 to 14) and Pee Wees (under 10 years old).
Contact: Rob Harris 305-587-6718
Key West / September 13 – November 30
The exhibit, ‘Depicting Hemingway: Guy Harvey Sketches The Old Man and the Sea’?? is to feature 59 original pen and ink drawings which follow the story line of Ernest Hemingway’s famous novel, The Old Man and the Sea. Widely recognized today as one of the world’s finest marine wildlife artists, Guy Harvey combines his unique artistic talents with his background as a marine biologist, diver, photographer and angler, to create magnificent marine wildlife art. Exhibit is to continue through November, at Key West Custom House, 281 Front Street.
Key West / October 18 – 19
Held in Key West’s historic Bahama Village neighborhood, the lively Goombay is known for its island-style food, arts and crafts, nonstop live entertainment and dancing in the streets.
Contact: Bob Oberle 305-304-2643
Key West / October 18 – 27
This outrageous 10-day costuming and masking celebration, themed “Superheroes, Villains … and Beyond!” features flamboyant costume competitions including one for pets, promenades, street fairs and a grand parade that stars marching groups, island bands and lavish floats. More than 40 masquerade contests, themed parties, parades and other spectacles are to challenge the creativity of mask and costume designers.
Key West / October 19
In the quest for fame and fortune, sometimes love gets in the way. This burlesque musical, set to the greatest rock-n-roll songs of the 60?s, 70?s and 80?s follows a young Samurai warrior and a teahouse temptress as they sing, dance and strip their way to fame and fortune — until love gets in the way. Starring the cast of Key West Burlesque and featuring performances by the country’s top burlesque entertainers. Showtime 8 p.m.
Contact: Box Office 305-294-5015
Key West / October 19
Presented by the Florida Keys Eco Discovery Center, this family-friendly and educational series invites kids in kindergarten through fifth grade from 10-11 a.m. to play games and make crafts while learning about a new topic of interest and the marine ecosystems of the Keys. Discovery Saturday is held the third Saturday of every month. Pre-registration is recommended. The Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center is located at 35 East Quay Road on the Truman Annex waterfront in Key West. Admission is free and free parking is available.
Key West / October 21
Be super, be evil, be AWESOME and get your run on! Dress up as your favorite Superhero or Super Villain and run, walk or fly to the finish line. Prizes are awarded for most creative, best group, scariest and funniest characters. Winner medals and awards are to given for overall male and female winners, masters (40+) male and female winners. Register online. Race starts at 6 p.m. The race begins and ends at The Reach, A Waldorf Astoria Resort and ends with a luau. Come for the run, stay for the fun!” ?
Contact: Beth Moyes 305-747-8563
Key West / October 22
This “over the top” contest includes an extravagant show with lots of Key West razzle dazzle, and is a competition “head and shoulders” above the rest with contestants judged from the shoulders up! Major cash prizes including a $1,500 grand prize. Tickets sell out quickly! Held at the Southernmost on the Beach, 508 South Street.
Contact: Rebecca Tomlinson at 305-294-4603
Key West / October 23
The wacky costume contest for domestic pets and their people is a highlight of the island city’s 10-day Fantasy Fest costuming and masking festival. A magical carousel of frisky pets and playful owners delightfully disguised get ready to frolic for fame and fortune; registration for competition is at 4 p.m.; Show starts at 5:30 p.m.; FREE to watch; $25 to enter; benefits Lower Keys Friends of Animals; located at the Casa Marina Resort, 1500 Reynolds St.
These are some of my favorite happenings this week and next in the Florida Keys. If you’re comig down to visit and stay with us at the KeysCaribbean Luxury Resorts & Marinas in our vacation rentals, share some of your favorite experiences with us …