One of the best kept secrets about Key West is August and September. Many say “Oh, it’s too hot in August!” While in September it’s back to school. The hottest temperature on record is 97 degrees Fahrenheit. Plain and simple, it’s hotter in New York than it is in Key West. However, because of both school and temperature perception, August and September are our slowest months. Consequently, it may be the best time to visit! I should also mention that the average year round temperature here is 78.2 degrees Fahrenheit, making it the warmest city in the United States. Key West is also the only frost free city in the U.S. as well.
Tourism being the life blood of the town, themed events are run throughout the year. September hosts the annual Poker Run, sponsored by Peterson’s Harley Davidson, in Cutler Bay, Fla., about 140 miles north of here. This is always a great event and has been a Key West tradition for just under forty years. It also brings in a lot of bikers, who in turn fill the rooms in all of the hotels, party hearty in all the restaurants and bars, and perhaps most importantly support all of the other businesses in town. Back when I was at the art gallery, we always had a fantastic week when they were in town. This week we had Robert Douglas, Michelle Dravis, and Will Parker rocking El Alamo with special guest Ken Ryan out of Nashville! Over at The Green Parrot it was Bill Blue and the Nervous Guys taking no prisoners. Singing with Bill this week was Ms. Deb Hudson, who really kicked it out! We have the annual Woman’s Fest celebration going on the week prior. There are always a lot of very happy women in this very free thinking town every September!
Then, there’s a a bit of a dry spell until October 22 – 31, when easily the wildest party in both the United States and the Conch Republic happens with Fantasy Fest. Fantasy Fest is the ultimate expression of Key West at its wildest. Many know Fantasy Fest for its nudity, and rightly so. However, it must also be stated that Fantasy Fest is about 25-33% nudity and the rest great costumes. The folks who come for Fantasy Fest, also greatly support the community in purchases throughout the town. Most businesses flourish during the week of Fantasy Fest.
Fantasy Fest is a 10 day event actually. It always finishes on the last Sunday of October and starts with the Goombay Festival 10 days prior, on Friday. As far as Fantasy Fest goes, I’ll get further in depth as we get closer to the date. The Goombay Festival celebrates the Bahamian roots of the African American population here in Key West. It’s a small event, however one of the most interesting parties of the year is held at the Blue Heaven Restaurant (corner of Petronia and Thomas) that evening, which traditionally has a local Bahamian Junkanoo band playing on the water tower, creating a mysterious atmosphere with voodoo-style masks and limbo contests taking place. This is a must!
The Beer of the Blog today is Pacifica Clara from Mexico. It’s aquite refreshing and clean tasting beer that tastes great ice cold on a hot day. I had one at Island Dog’s Restaurant on Front St. the other day… no.. wait… I think I had three!
See you next blog!!!!