What's Up

What’s Up


So you’ve reached your final Florida destination, now what? Well, hold tight because this is one Florida destination where the fun never stops! In fact, there are probably more events and festivals going on in the Florida Keys & Key West than in any other Florida destination. Here’s a quick list of fun Keys’ happenings that you won’t want to miss!

Key West Sunset Celebration

Key West: Each evening, about two hours before sunset, flocks of people gather at Key West’s Mallory Square and on the pier behind the Margaritaville Resort & Marina to watch the sun slowly sink into the Gulf of Mexico and to revel in the colorful street performers, local artists, psychics and food vendors who have made Key West’s Sunset Celebration a world-famous, multicultural happening. If you’re really lucky you may even witness the rare “Green Flash.” Experience it nightly at the end of upper Duval Street. Info: 305-294-2787; mallorysquare.com/sunset-celebration

Jazz at Tavern N’ Town

Key West: Some of Key West’s top talent including “Island Diva” Carmen Rodriquez and
Michael Thomas perform nightly from 5-7 pm during Key West’s best Happy Hour. Takes place at Marriott Beachside Resort, 3841 N. Roosevelt Blvd. Info: 305-296-8100

Every Tuesday
Mario Sanchez Original Works & Lecture

Key West: Owner of Key West’s renowned Gallery on Greene, Nance Frank has curated multiple exhibits of famed Cuban artist, Mario Sanchez with catalogues for his exhibit presented by The American Folk-Art Museum, The Museum of the City of New York as well as Cuba’s National Museum. Her weekly presentation about Sanchez’s life and work is absolutely fascinating. Takes place at 2pm every Tues at Gallery on Greene, 606 Greene St, Key West. 305-304-2323; galleryongreene.com.

Wednesday – Saturday
Cabaret in The Gardens

Key West: Key West’s Gardens Hotel is one of the most beautiful boutique hotels on the island and every Weds. through Sat. from 5 – 7pm, you can enjoy wonderful, live piano music in the Hotel’s intimate Cabaret. Full bar and stellar wines are the coup de gras. Find at 525 Angela St, Key West. Info: 305-294-2661; gardenshotel.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 seafood and produce, homemade ice cream and special Pop-Up stores. 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; bigpinefleamarket.com

Every Sunday
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, champagne and fabulous wines. Takes place from 5:30 – 8pm at the Gardens Hotel, 526 Angel St, Key West. Info: 305-294-2661; gardenshotel.com

Thursday Morada Way 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; moradaway.org

Friday MM 104 Block Party

Key Largo: Stroll among artists, shop for gifts, enjoy street bites from local eateries and more during this fun monthly Block Party. Takes place on the First Friday of every month from 6 – 10pm, rain or shine along the Overseas Highway at mile marker 104 in Key Largo. FYI: You can park at any of the MM104 businesses and walk along the bayside bike pathway. Info: keylargofirstfriday.com

Snook’s Luau & Pig Roas
Key Largo: Swivel your hips and feast like a king during this monthly tropical extravaganza that boasts fire dancers, hula dancers, great live music and continuous live entertainment that will keep you jumpin’ all night long. The party kicks off at 6:30 pm on Sat, Feb. 17, Sat, March 24, Sat, April 21, and Sat, May 26. Sells out fast so be sure to make reservations. Takes place on the waterfront at Snook’s Bayside & Grand Tiki, MM 99.9, Bayside, Key Largo. Info: 305-453-5004; snooks.com

Key West Artisan Market

Key West: You’ll discover all kinds of cool things at this Sunday extravaganza which includes culinary products, textiles, jewelry, artists & crafters, curiosities and more as well as live music, craft beer, wine and food concessions. Takes place from 10am – 2pm, every three weeks (except Easter) at Higgs Beach. Bring your own bags. Dates: Feb 10 & 24; March 10 & 24; April 7. Info: 573-619-2200; keysartisansmarket.com

Fort Taylor Living History Weekend

Key West: On the third weekend of each month, Fort Taylor Zachary Taylor Historic State Park is transformed into a Union-occupied encampment where local and regional re-enactors portray life as it was in 1861 during the American Civil War. Firing and cooking demos are all part of the excitement as you embark on a trip through time to see, hear and smell what life was like in a Federal Fort during the War. Takes place from 10am – 2pm at Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, 601 Howard England Way Key West. Info:floridastateparks.org

March 24
4th Annual Islamorada Seafood Festival & Art Show

Islamorada: This lively, hometown festival is a local favorite and always draws a fun crowd who take to the street for a day of yummy fresh seafood, culinary delights, fine art, crafts, and jammin’ entertainment. Takes place from 11am – 5pm in the Morada Way Arts & Cultural District at MM 81 on Old Hwy. in Islamorada. Info: 305-664-8120.

March 30
Pops in The Park

Islamorada: Enjoy “Swaying Sounds of Paradise” at this free bayside outdoor concert which features the Keys Community Concert Band. Bring your chairs and blankets. Free admission. The concert begins at 4pm at Founders Park, MM 87, Bayside in Islamorada. Info: 305-853-7294; keyscommunityconcertband.com

March 30
2019 Southernmost Air Spectacular

Key West: The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, “Blue Angels,” takes to the skies for a spectacular air show. This year’s theme is “Women in Aviation” and includes civilian performers by the all-female parachute jump team, the Misty Blues. Patty Wagstaff flying an Extra 330SC, Ashley Shelton, Wing Walker and the world-famous Shockwave Jet Truck. Takes place at Navy Air Station Key West. Gates open 9am; air show starts at 10:30am; Blue Angels fly at 2:30 p.m. Admission and parking are free. Info: 305-293-2503; airshowkeywest.com

March 31
Bay Jam 25

Islamorada: This open-air music and art festival features local and guest artists performing on the shores of Florida Bay. Bring chairs and blankets. Takes place from 11am – 7pm at Founders Park, MM 87, Bayside in Islamorada. Info: 305-394-2765; keysice.com

April 6
28th Annual Florida Keys Island Fest

Islamorada: Two full days of music, food and fun including one of the largest crafts shows in the Keys, live entertainment, sandcastle-building, kids’ activities, and the annual “Taste Of Islamorada” — a local chefs’ competition which happens on Sunday. Free admission. Takes place from 10am – 5pm at Founder’s Park, MM 87, Bayside, Islamorada. Info: 305-664-4503; islamoradachamber.com

April 13
Mote Marine’s 9th Annual Florida Keys Ocean Festival

Key West: Celebrate all things ocean and meet world-renowned marine artist Wyland along with the Keys’ favorite Trop Rocker, Howard Livingston at this lively marine festival which features great live music, over 80 artists, vendors, conservation exhibitors and crafts-people, along with lots of kids’ activities, live animals & touch tanks, a huge silent auction, and a 5K Smokin’ Tuna Trot at 8am. Food, beer and cocktails, too! Takes place from 10am – 6pm at NOAA’s Florida Keys Eco Discovery Center and the Truman Waterfront. Info 305-393-6022; keysoceanfest.org

April 15
Taste of Key West

Key West: Over 50 top area restaurants and 100+ vineyards present mouthwatering
samples of their cuisine to benefit AIDS Help, Inc. Food and wine tickets cost $1 with “tastes” ranging from $3 – $8. The culinary celebration takes place from 6 – 9pm at the Truman Waterfront Pier (end of Southard St.) overlooking Key West Harbor. Free admission. Info: 305-296-6196.

April 19 – 28
Annual Conch Republic Independence Celebration

Key West: Headquartered at Key West’s Schooner Wharf Bar, this raucous event commemorates the founding of the Conch Republic. The celebration begins at 7pm on Fri, April 19 with the official “Kick-Off Party” and Conch Shell Blowing Contest at Schooner Wharf Bar followed by all kinds of crazy events throughout the week including the “World’s Longest Parade,” Conch Republic Music Festival, Great Battle for The Conch Republic, Red Ribbon Bed Races, a wacky “Drag Queen” Race and much more. Info: 305-296-0213; conchrepublic.com

April 26
Havana Biennial Art Tour

Key West: Immerse yourself in Cuba’s white-hot art scene during one of the world’s oldest and most important international art events. With exhibitions and cultural activities spread throughout the city, you’ll experience Havana through the eyes of leading artists and curators whom you’ll meet one-on-one over sumptuous dinners, studio visits and guided tours. Presented by The Studios of Key West and Gallery on Greene, this special all-inclusive tour offers unique access to Cuba’s cultural scene. Info: 305-296-0458; tskw.org

April 27
Pops in The Park

Islamorada: This annual bayside concert series wraps up the season with a very special “Young Musicians Concert.” Bring your chairs and blankets. Free admission. The concert begins at 4pm at Founders Park, MM 87, Bayside in Islamorada. Info: 305-853-7294; keyscommunityconcertband.com

April 28
Wrecker’s Cup Race

This is the third leg of the popular 7 mile sailing race to Sand Key. Visiting vessels and local captains and crew are all invited to this “all-in-fun” event. Race kicks off at 1pm with an Awards Party at 7pm at the Schooner Wharf Bar in Key West’s Historic Seaport. Info: 305-292-3302; schoonerwharf.com

May 3
4th Annual 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. The fantastical, family friendly cavalcade of totally human-powered art sculptures begins at noon at the Custom House (281 Front St.) and proceeds down Duval St. Info: 305-295-6616; papioskineticparade.com

May 8 – 12
Key West Songwriter’s Festival

Key West: The 24th annual showcase of musical magic features America’s foremost performing songwriters with concerts staged in various venues throughout Key West. The festival revolves around five days and nights of big stars in intimate settings, introducing audiences to the faces, voices and stories behind the songs. Info: 305-304-0814; keywestsongwritersfestival.com

May 16 – 19
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 18 at Sundowners Waterfront Restaurant, MM 104, Bayside and continues all weekend long with multiple stages at neighboring Cactus Jacks and Señor Frijoles. For a full schedule of events call 305-394-37; keylargooriginalmusicfest.com

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 hoots and howls 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: Sun – Weds at 9pm; Th at 7 & 9pm; Fri & Sat at 7, 9 &11pm. Reservations recommended. See them at Aqua Nightclub, 711 Duval St., Key West. Info: 305-294-0555; aquakeywest.com

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 impressionists -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

Fringe Theater of Key West
Key West: Key West’s “immersion theater” troupe literally “takes you places,” by performing in intimate venues that suit each play. A special reading of “The Piano Lesson” by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, August Wilson, takes place at Frederick Douglas Gym on Fri, Feb 15 – Sat, Feb 16. On Tues, March 12, Lee Roy Reams brings his popular New York revue for one night only at the Tropic Cinema. “The Clean House,” a contemporary American comedy that explores love, loss, and the perfect laugh, takes to the stage on Wed, March 20 – Sat, March 30 at St Paul’s Episcopal Church. On Tues, April 9 – Thurs, April 11, “Air Heart” a quintessential evening of performance theater that uses a clever mix of fact and fiction, theater and acrobatics, takes you on a flight back to the 1930s with Amelia Earhart. On stage at the Tennessee Williams Theater. “It’s About Time,” an original musical that travels through time, opens on Weds, April 24 and plays through Sat, April 27 at the Tennessee Williams Theater. “Gilda’s Balcony,” a riveting one- woman show that examines the life of Golda Meir, plays on Weds, May 1 – Thurs, May 2 at B’Nai Zion Congregation and again on Sat, May 4 at the Marathon Community Theater. On June 2 – June 7, “Pride” explores sexuality, social mores, and personal identity in this moving play that juxtaposes storylines from the 1950s and the present. On stage at The Studios of Key West. Tickets and more info:305-731-0581; fringetheater.org

Impromptu Concerts
Key West: The Camerata Ensemble, a unique group comprised of members of Amsterdam’s renowned Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, performs on Sun, Feb 17 with music by Mozart, Mendelssohn, Corelli and Mahler. On Sun, March 3, the highly acclaimed Goldstein-Peled-Fiterstein Trio takes to the stage followed on Sun, March 17 by the exceptional Amernet String Quartet who perform a complex sound with old world flavor on Sun, March 17. The concert season wraps up on Sun, March 31 with the award-winning Lomazov Rackers Piano Duo on Sun, March 31. The 4pm Sunday afternoon concert takes place at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 401 Duval St, Key West. Tickets available at the door or at keystix.com. Info: keywestimpromptu.org

Randy Roberts Live!
Key West: Spotlighted on television’s hit series “America’s Got Talent,” Randy Roberts
absolutely shines in this live, multi-media tribute to some of the world’s most beloved performers. His uncanny impersonations of Cher, Better Midler and Mae West are spot-on and he’ll have you rolling in the aisles when he performs a titillating strip tease as the bawdy Gypsy Rose Lee. But nothing compares to “Consuela,” Roberts’ own self-created character whichcan 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

Red Barn Theatre
Key West: Back by popular demand, “Short Attention Span Theatre 2019,” an all-new, high-octane collection of fun 10-minute plays through Sat, Feb 9. On Tues, Feb 19 through Sat, March 16, “Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical” presents a fresh, remarkably personal and poignant view of the woman whose unparalleled talent and unbridled personality made her a legend on film, recordings, radio and TV. “Meteor Shower,” an adult comedy by Steve Martin takes to the stage on Tues, March 26 and plays through Sat, April 20. Showtime: 8pm. Located at 319 Duval St, Key West. Info and tickets at 305-296-9911; redbarntheatre.com

The Studios of Key West
Key West: TSKW launches a brand-new season with another extraordinary line-up of exhibitions, workshops, classes, open houses and more. On Fri, Feb 8, Susan Werner, cited as one of today’s most innovative songwriters, returns for another wry and passionate acoustical guitar performance. A fixture of the NYC jazz scene, the Ben Rosenbaum Trio graces the stage on Thurs, Feb 14 for a special Valentine’s Day Concert that will keep your heart throbbing. Hailed by NPR as a “lyrical and raw” singer-songwriter, Becca Mancari, performs dust-cloud swells of electric guitar with don’t-look-back lyrics on Sat, Feb 23. On Fri, Mar 1, the award-winning guitarist, Dana Cooper shares his quick wit, insightful stories and commanding presence as he celebrates the release of his 26th album. On Thurs, Mar 21, contemporary quartet, Otherworld, blends jazz, classical and Middle Eastern influences into a unique concert that features music from their new album. Enjoy hand crafted Mojitos and hand-rolled cigars on Sat, April 20 when Cortadito celebrates the release of the band’s latest album bringing explosive Cuban energy to classic arrangements. On Fri, April 26, “Good Things Come to Those Who Wait” when songstress, Tara O’Grady channels the style of the 1920 and the energy of the 1950s in her foot-tapping live show. Be sure to check out TSKW website for more upcoming events. Located at 533 Eaton St, Key West. Info: 305-296-0458; tskw.org.

Tennessee Williams Theater
Key West: On Thurs, Feb 7, “In the Mood – A 1940s Musical Revue” looks at America’s Swing Era, a celebration of America’s Greatest Generation. Local icon, Randy Roberts and American jazz singer, cabaret performer and actress, Marilyn Maye, take to the stage for an intimate evening on Mon, Feb 11 followed by the Little River Band on Weds, Feb 13. Back by popular demand “Stayin Alive” perform the songs and sights of a full Bee Gees play list on Sat, Feb 23. On Mon, March 4, Broadway, television, film and international concert headliner, Lucie Arnaz joins Key West’s own Randy Roberts, for a night of love songs in this special post-Valentine’s celebration. On Thurs, March 14, the “Stars of New York City Ballet “showcases ballets ranging from the classics to the most contemporary works of today. “The Sound of Music – National Tour,” the spirited, romantic and beloved musical story of Maria and the von Trapp Family, makes its highly anticipated Key West debut on Mon, March 18 and Tues, March 19. On Sat, March 23 and Sun, March 24, “Haley, Mulligan, Robinson: Singing the 60s” perform the hits that rocked the radios during one of the most diverse decades of all times. The 17 piece “Paradise Big Band” teams up with local vocalists and guest musicians for a special event you won’t want to miss on Sun, March 31. On Mon, April 15 and Tues, April 16, Rent, the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning masterpiece, returns to the stage in this vibrant 20th anniversary touring production. Located at 5901 College Rd., Stock Island/Key West. Info and tickets at 305-296-1520; keystix.com

Waterfront Playhouse
Key West: The critically acclaimed, Tony Best Play nominee, “A Doll’s House, Part 2” continues through Sat, Feb 9 followed on Tues, Feb 26 – Sat, March 23 by the smash hit, “Young Frankenstein, The Musical,” the stage version of Mel Brooks’ iconic parody of the horror film genre. “Sex with Strangers,” a sexy, funny and timely play that explores whether technology is bringing us closer together or making us virtual strangers, opens on Tues, April 9 and plays through Sat, April 27. The Off-Broadway hit, “Red Speedo,” a razor-sharp play about whether doping is acceptable in the pursuit of the elusive Olympic Medal takes to the stage Tues, May 14 through Sat, June 1. Located at 310 Wall St, Key West. Tickets and info: 305-294-5015; waterfrontplayhouse.org

Other Florida Happenings
Music Walk

Ft Meyers: Enjoy live music at over a dozen venues including restaurants, art galleries and bars throughout Fort Myers Historic River District. Takes place from 6 – 10pm on every third Friday of the month. For more info visit fortmyersriverdistrictalliance.com

March 8 – 17
78th Annual Daytona Beach Bike Week

Daytona: This 10-day high octane party is considered to be the “World’s Largest Motorcycle Event” and attracts over 500,000 motorcyclists and enthusiasts who make the annual pilgrimage. Celebrations take place all over town and include street festivals, concerts, motorcycle races at Daytona International Speedway, bike shows, rallies, manufacturer showcases and much more. Info: officialbikeweek.com for details.

March 23
Hogtown Craft Beer Festival

Gainesville: Enjoy some amazing local and regional small batch brews, food and craft beer pairings, educational seminars, home brewing demos and more during this annual event that celebrates a passion for brewing, beer science and all things craft beer. Takes place from 11:30am – 5pm at Alachua County Fairgrounds, 3100 NE 39th Ave. in Gainesville. Info:352-331-4000; hogtownbeerfest.com