The Aquanettes: Reality Is A Drag
Key West: Prepare yourself for some amazing costumes, great music and lots of laughs when the world famous Aquanettes take to the stage. This outrageous troupe of lip-synching, wise-cracking drag queens prance, dance, shimmy and shake to the howls and hoots of a packed house. No two shows are ever the same so you never know what’s going to happen. FYI: Bring lots of dollar bills for tipping the performers — the more you tip, the more they play. Showtimes: Su – Weds at 9pm; Th at 7 & 9pm; F & Sa at 7, 9, 11pm. Reservations recommended. See them at Aqua Nightclub, 711 Duval St., Key West. 305-294-0555; aquakeywest.com.
Every Saturday & Sunday
Big Pine Flea Market
Big Pine Key: Discover all kinds of great finds at unbeatable prices at this long-time Lower Keys Flea Market that showcases an eclectic mix of both used and new merchandise, as well as locally made soaps, tools and tarps, fishing supplies, watches and jewelry, fresh produce and special Pop-Up stores like Key West’s Neat Stuff (Booths A-15, 17, 19). Open from 8am — 2pm every Sat. and Sun. through July. Free admission and parking. Find it at 30250 Overseas Hwy., Oceanside on Big Pine Key. Info: 305-872-4103.
Jazz In The Gardens
Key West: Enjoy some terrific jazz amidst lush flora and fauna during this free hang that draws Key West’s top jazz cognoscenti. Full bar and fabulous wines. Takes place from 5:30 – 8pm at the Gardens Hotel, 526 Angel St., Key West. Info: 305-294-2661; gardenshotel.com.
Third Thursday Art Walk
Islamorada: Fine arts, live music and “culinary art” are the hallmark of this festive monthly event which showcases both national and local artisans in galleries along the Morada Way Arts & Cultural District. Takes place from 6 – 9pm on Old Hwy., MM 81.5, Oceanside, Islamorada. Info: 305-393-6012.
Now – May 13
Short Attention Span Theater
Key West: What do you get when you take a company of actors, directors, and filmmakers and mix in fresh, fun, 10-minute plays? Short Attention Span Theatre, that’s what! This evening of shorts typically includes lots of laughs and incredible talent. A high-octane evening of fun for everyone! Plays now through Saturday, May 13. Showtime 8pm. See it at the Red Barn Theater, 319 Duval St., Key West. Info and tickets: 305-296-9911; redbarntheatre.com.
Now – July
Christopher Peterson’s Eyecons
Key West: Often compared to the legendary Jim Baily, master of impersonations, Christopher Peterson is, without a doubt, one of North America’s foremost female impersonators – both visually and vocally. His hit show, EYECONS, is one of the hottest tickets in town and you’ll be totally amazed by the way he transforms himself into more than a dozen famous women right before your very eyes with the help of his “magic closet.” Catch him in the Crystal Room Cabaret at La Te Da, 1125 Duval St., Key West. Tickets and info: 305-296-6706; lateda.com.
Now – July
Randy Roberts Live!
Key West: Highly acclaimed entertainer, Randy Roberts shines in this live, multi-media tribute to some of the world’s most beloved performers. His uncanny impersonations of Cher, Better Midler and Judy Garland are spot-on and he’ll have you rolling in the aisles when he performs a titillating strip tease as the bawdy Gypsy Lee Rose. But nothing compares to Roberts’ own self-created character which can only be described as Ann-Margaret, Liza Minnelli and Joan Rivers all rolled into one powerhouse performer. Catch this amazing show at La Te Da’s Crystal Room Cabaret, 1125 Duval St., Key West. Tickets and info: 305-296-6706; lateda.com.
Cinco de Mayo Celebration
Key West: Grab your salt shaker and party with Margarita during this fun, annual celebration that includes live Salsa music, a Taco Eating & Hot Pepper Eating Contest and prizes for Best Mexican Hat. The action starts at 7pm at the Schooner Wharf Bar in Key West’s Historic Seaport. Info: 305-292-3302; schoonerwharf.com.
May 10 – 14
22nd Annual Key West Songwriter’s Festival
Key West: The 20th-annual showcase of musical magic features America’s foremost performing songwriters with concerts staged in intimate, audience-friendly venues around Key West. Info: 305-304-0814; keywestsongwriters.com.
May 11 – 13
Papio Kinetic Sculpture Parade
Key West: Inspired by, and named for, the late Keys artist Stanley Papio, a humorous rebel metal-artist who explored the value of recycled materials long before it was hip to be rusty, this weekend-long event kicks off with a Pop-Up Party and parade registration on Friday from 5 – 8pm at the Custom House Museum located at 281 Front St. On Saturday starting at noon, the fantastical, family-friendly cavalcade of totally human-powered art sculptures winds its way down Duval St. and ends with a kinetic sculpture exhibition of the parade’s offerings at Fort East Martello Museum, 3501 S. Roosevelt Blvd. from 12 – 6pm on Sunday. Info: 305-295-6616; papioskineticparade.com
May 18 – 21
Key Largo Original Music Fest
Key Largo: Four days of multiple musical happenings set the stage, during this eclectic music festival which showcases hit songwriters from Nashville and beyond, as well as an elite group of local and national singers and bands who perform everything from Rock to Country to Blues and more. The festival kicks off on Thurs., May 12 at Sundowners Waterfront Restaurant, MM 104, Bayside and continues all weekend long with multiple stages at Cactus Jack’s and Señor Frijoles. For a full schedule of events call 305-394-3736; keylargosingersandsongwritersfestival.com.
Battle In The Bay Dragon Boat Festival
Marathon: The waters off Sombrero Beach transform into a swift race course for a fleet of 40′ Dragon race boats each armed with 20 paddlers who put their strength and team work to the test. Sombrero Beach provides a pristine setting for spectators. Food, beverages, merchandise and a variety of entertainment round out the shoreside festivities. Info: 813-426-3544; highfivedragonboat.com
26th Annual Schooner Wharf Bar Minimal Regatta
Key West: Known as “the only boat race you can view from start to finish from shore,” this wacky regatta is also a race to stay afloat. Savvy sailors use only minimal materials including plywood and Duck Tape to build their tiny vessels. Races begin at noon at Schooner Wharf Bar in Key West’s Historic Seaport. Info: 305-292-3302; schoonerwharf.com.
Second Annual Guitar Festival
Keys-Wide: Enjoy three concerts throughout the Keys: June 2 in Islamorada at Coral Isles Church; June 3 in Marathon at the Florida Keys Country Club; and June 4 in Key West at the Key West Theater. The festival features virtuoso guitarists Larry Baeder, David Feder, Mike Emerson and Mateo playing blues, jazz, flamenco and classical concerts. Info: floridakeysguitarfestival.com.
June 7 – 11
Key West Pride
Key West: Key West’s world-famous rainbow celebration of sea-to-sea diversity attracts thousands of party goers from around the globe and includes five days of beach and pool parties, on the water adventures, pageants, late-night drag shows and more. Info at 305-294-4603; keywestpride.org.
June 16 – 18
4th Annual Mystery Writers Key West Fest
Key West: “Murder & Mayhem In Paradise” sets the stage for this fun weekend event that is open to published authors, aspiring authors and non-writing mystery buffs alike. Headlining the year’s speakers are John Hemingway, Clifford Irving and Randy Rawls. There will also be multiple workshops and panel events with other award-winning writers, a Ghost Tour and much more. Takes place at the Doubletree Grand Key Resort. Info: 305-587-9392; mysterywriterskeywestfest.com.
July 1 – 4
5th Annual Key Lime Pie Festival
Key West: A crazy “Mile High”pie-eating contest, Key Lime Pie Hop, Key Lime Rum Sampling and other tasty temptations are all on the menu for this wacky, weekend event that kicks off with a Key Lime Martini and Margarita Sip & Stroll. Complete event schedule at keylimefestival.com.
33rd Annual Hospice & VNA July 4th Picnic
Key West: This annual family friendly, beachside picnic is also a fundraiser for Monroe County’s Hospice with an endless supply of hot dogs and hamburgers, top entertainment, silent auction, children’s activities and a giant fireworks display off the White Street Pier by Higgs Beach. VIP seating on the beach available. Takes place on the lawn and beach of the historic Casa Marina Resort, 1500 Reynolds St. Info: 305-294-8812.
Independence Day Fireworks
Keys-Wide: There’s lots going on all over the Keys so here’s a quick view of what’s happening: Key Largo: Celebrate Independence Day with an annual 4th of July Parade which rolls out at 10am from MM 98 – 100 and enjoy a huge fireworks display at 10 p.m. on Blackwater Sound, MM 104, Bayside. Islamorada: An old fashioned family fun celebration starts at 6pm at Founders Park, MM 87, Bayside with fireworks at 9:30pm. Marathon: The holiday parade begins at 10:30am on Sombrero Blvd. (MM 50, Oceanside) followed by free day-long festivities at Sombrero Beach culminating with a huge fireworks display at 9pm. Big Pine & The Lower Keys: The celebration starts at 5pm at Big Pine Community Park, with music, food and, fun followed by a fireworks extravaganza after sunset. Key West: Fireworks light up the Atlantic starting at 9pm off the White St. Pier
Theatre XPKey West Summer Stage
Key West: This artist’s “collective” comprises a group of actors, writers, directors, scenic and lighting designers who come together to produce an extraordinary summer stage experience. Founded by director, Bob Bowersox, these special productions run the gamut from knife-edge drama to absurdist comedy to stage adaptions of stories which had their first incarnation in another medium, like film. Each project pushes the boundries of theater and sometimes takes a radically new approach to staging a story. Venues vary ranging from existing theaters to site-specific outdoor spaces. For this season’s schedule call 302-540-6102 or go to theatreexp.org.
33rd Annual Underwater Music Festival
Big Pine & The Lower Keys: A quirky concert broadcast underwater for divers, snorkelers and the occasional mermaid emphasizes reef preservation. The submerged songfest is held at Looe Key Reef in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, approximately 5 miles south of Big Pine Key. Transportation available from local dive shops. Info: 305-872-2411; lowerkeyschamber.com.
July 13 – 15
Mel Fisher Days
Key West: Headquartered at the Schooner Wharf Bar in Key West’s Historic Seaport, this annual festival brings together fans of the renowned treasure hunter Mel Fisher, as well as treasure-hunting enthusiasts from around the world, to celebrate the anniversary of Fisher’s amazing discovery of the shipwrecked Spanish Galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha. Particpate in conservation lab tours. Enter your name to win an authentic Atocha coin. Huge dock party and silent auction on Friday July 15th. Info: 305-296.6533; melfisher.com.
July 18- 23
Key West: This lively annual celebration of the legendary author’s literary prowess and colorful lifestyle features literary readings, a short story competition, fishing tournament, Papa Look-Alike Contest and the world famous “Running Of The Bulls.” Look-Alike Contest info: 305-292-8445; Literary info: 305-294-0320.
24th Annual Battle of the Bars
Key West: Unlikely warriors armed with margarita salt and keg taps, compete to conquer their foes with speed, skill and accuracy in this raucous annual contest that pits local bartenders and servers against one another as they drink, cajole and bribe their way to capture the coveted winning trophy. The mayhem takes place from 12:30 – 6:30pm at the Schooner Wharf Bar in Key West’s Historic Seaport. Info: 305-292-3302; schoonerwharfbar.com.
August 16 – 20
Key West: This All-Male-All-Adult fever-pitched festival includes more than a dozen intriguingly decadent events ranging from drag shows to themed pool parties and gatherings at island clubs. Not for the faint-hearted! Info: 305-294-4603; tropicalheatkw.com.