Keeping with tradition, the City of Key West offices will be closed on Christmas Eve, Friday December 23rd and Monday December 25th as well as Monday, January 2nd.
There will be no bus service on Christmas Day or on New Year’s Day to allow our drivers to be home with their families.
There will be no change in the scheduled pickup of trash and recycling.
The community is invited to Bayview Park on Thursday, December 18th at 5 p.m. for the lighting of the menorah.
Rabbi Shimon Dudai from Congregation B’Nai Zion and Rabbi Jacob Zucker from Chabad of the Florida Keys will say the blessings.
Though every entry into this year’s Holiday Parade was a winner the moment it brought a smile to a child’s face, and this year’s judges had a hard time choosing winners!
Island Grove Dance Studio received the Mayor’s Cup, and Harpoon Harry’s Restaurant was awarded with the Vice Mayor’s Cup.
There was a tie for the Commissioner’s Cup between the Key West High School Marching Band and the joint float effort by Garcia/Jones Construction, Casa Construction, Key West Body Scrubs, and the Garcia Law Firm.
Honorable Mention saw a four-way tie: The Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority, the Basilica School of St. Mary’s, the joint effort by the City of Key West Building Department, Code Department and Licensing Department, and the Horace O’Bryant Bucs Remix.
The City of Key West wants to thank the community for this amazing effort. In addition to the hundreds of people who volunteered their time to be a part of the parade, we appreciate the behind-the-scenes volunteers for their tireless and continuous help each year. Gratitude also to the city employees who volunteered their time to make this another memorable parade.
The public is invited to share in holiday cheer at the Third Annual Sand Sculpture Christmas Tree Lighting on Thursday, December 1, 2022 at 6pm at the Sun Sun Concert Pier at Casa Marina, 1500 Reynolds St., Key West. Guests will have the opportunity to see the giant sand sculpture Christmas tree light up for the first time this holiday season, enjoy live music, holiday cheer, free parking, and a presentation of toys to representatives of The Boys and Girls Clubs of The Keys. Donations of unwrapped toys may be brought to Casa Marina Key West now through November 30, 2022.
“We are delighted to present the third annual Christmas tree lighting event with a special presentation of donated toys to The Boys and Girls Clubs of The Keys. It’s one of the local organizations that we support not just during the holidays, but all year long,” said John Trovato, Managing Director, Casa Marina Key West. “Marianne, our resident sand sculpture artist and owner of Just Sand and Water, does a remarkable job and I hope everyone attending is just as amazed as we are with her outstanding talent,” he said.
Casa Marina will display the sand sculpture Christmas tree through the holidays. Sun Sun Concert Pier presents free live music Wednesday through Saturday evenings and is located adjacent to Sun Sun Beach Bar & Grill, offering an elevated beach dining experience for lunch, dinner, and cocktails daily. Open to the public.
Holiday Toy Drive Kicks Off Today at Casa Marina Key West - Benefiting The Boys and Girls Clubs of The Keys
Casa Marina Key West kicks off their annual Holiday Toy Drive benefiting The Boys and Girls Clubs of The Keys on November 23, 2022. Area businesses, local organizations and the public are invited to participate in the toy drive by bringing new and unwrapped toys to Casa Marina Key West, now through November 30, 2022.
“We’re inviting the public help us brighten the holidays for our local children by donating new and unwrapped toys to benefit The Boys and Girls Clubs of The Keys. Donations can be dropped off at Casa Marina 24 hours a day, now to November 30th,” said John Trovato, Managing Director, Casa Marina Key West. “Whether you have one toy, a dozen toys, or more, your donation will bring joy to a child in need,” he said.
All toys will be presented to The Boys and Girls Clubs of The Keys at the Third Annual Sand Sculpture Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration, December 1, 2022 at Sun Sun Concert Pier at Casa Marina, 1500 Reynolds St, Key West.
The City of Key West offices will be closed Thursday, November 24th and Friday, November 25th for the Thanksgiving holiday. Normal business hours will resume on Monday, November 28th.
There will be no bus service on Thursday, November 24th. This long-standing tradition allows our drivers to spend Thanksgiving with their families. Normal bus service will resume on Friday, November 26th.
The official Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, November 28th at 6 p.m. at Bayview Park. Santa will be on hand for his first appearance on the island!
The Key West World AIDS Day Service will be held at the AIDS Memorial, at the foot of White Street and the Edward B. Knight Pier, on December 1st at 5 p.m.
The service begins with a candlelight Memorial March from the Key West City Hall down White Street to the Memorial. Marchers will assemble at 4:30 p.m.
The traditional reading of the names of all of those previously remembered on the AIDS Memorial will be done by a roster of community leaders. Thirteen new names will be added to the memorial this year. Candles will be given out.
The Lighting of the Menorah will at 5 p.m. on December 18th, also at Bayview Park.
Key West Holiday Fest, the southernmost city’s annual joyous celebration of the season, is set to kick off on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022. Whether you delight in the fun and funky, the enchantingly elegant, or all the above, revelers of all ages can immerse in a solid month of tropical warmth infused holiday magic and merry-making. Here’s a sample:
Wed, Nov 23, pre-sunset: People of all ages gather at Green Street Plaza where it meets Lazy Way Lane for the exciting countdown and 6:00pm official lighting of the Key West Harbor Walk of Lights at the Historic Seaport.
Wed, Nov 23, through New Year’s Eve, Key West Harbor Walk of Lights at the Historic Seaport: Revel in a wonderland of light-bedecked palm trees, Christmas trees, ships, shops, restaurants and watering holes, dazzlingly decorated for the holiday season from Lazy Way Lane at the Green Street Plaza to the Ferry Terminal at Grinnell Street.
Fri, Nov 25, through Christmas Eve, the MARC annual Christmas tree lot: Christmas trees, wreaths, garlands, holiday accessories, ornaments, and wonderful locally produced gifts. More than 1500 trees travel from North Carolina to Key West and are available until they run out or Christmas Eve, which ever comes first. 1401 Seminary Street. For information call the MARC Plant Store at 305-296-9556.
Sun, Nov. 27, 7:00pm, “Messiah” concert at Key West United Methodist Church.
Mon, Nov 28, 5:30pm, City of Key West Tree Lighting Ceremony at Bayview Park.
Fri, Dec 2, 4:00-8:00pm, Wesley House Family Services Holiday Village and BeLighted Bike Ride at Coffee Butler Amphitheater: Celebrate the holidays with a family friendly party with Santa Claus, music, crafts, games, food trucks, goodies for the kids, and a “Best BeLighted Bike” contest. Admission fee includes Holiday Village and Bike Ride, and benefits Wesley House Family Services. Belighted Bike Ride through the streets of Key West departs at 8:00pm.
Sat, Dec 3, 11am-2pm, Pet Pictures with The Grinch: Bring your critters to Hank’s Hair of the Dog Saloon, 409 Caroline Street, for pet pictures with The Grinch. Proceeds benefit River’s Wish, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit senior dog sanctuary.
Sat, Dec 3, 7:00pm, Key West Hometown Holiday Parade: Spectators line the streets for the homegrown parade which kicks off at Bayview Park and travels along Truman Ave and Duval Streets with festooned floats and marching groups consisting of adults, children, and elves, along with assorted hoofed and whiskered friends.
Sun, Dec 4, 6:00-8:00pm, Pet Pictures with Santa: Pack up Fifi and Fido and delight in Pet Pictures with Santa at the Christmas tree at the foot of William Street at the Key West Bight Marina. Proceeds benefit the Boys & Girls Club of the Keys.
Dec 7-11, Nutcracker Key West: Some 60 local children and adults and 15 professional dancers from around the world join together in 2022 to produce this outstanding historical recreation of Key West's enchanting version of the Nutcracker ballet at the Tennessee Williams Theater.
Dec 8, 11-13, 16-23, Conch Tour Train Holiday Sights and Festive Nights Tours: Multiple nightly tours depart from Key West High School and convey caroling passengers through streets and neighborhoods to revel in the magically illuminated city of Key West.
Dec 8-23, Old Town Trolley Holiday Lights & Sights Tours: Multiple nightly tours begin at Mallory Square and convey caroling passengers through magically decorated streets and neighborhoods.
Fri, Dec 9, Holiday Historic Inn Tours – Night 1, 6:00pm-8:00pm: Visit and tour four beautifully decorated island locales: Key West Butterfly Conservatory, The Mermaid & the Alligator, Winslow’s Bungalows, and Weatherstation Inn, and explore their unique architecture and history while enjoying sweet and savory holiday treats and libation samplings.
Fri, Dec 9, 5:00-9:00pm, 5th Annual Holiday Concert & Bazaar at Custom House Museum: This festive free party features some of Key West’s finest artisans, musicians and choirs, along with a spectacular holiday light show.
Sat, Dec 10, 10:00am-2:00pm (9:00am check-in), 9th Annual Parade of Paws & Holiday Bazaar at Higgs Beach / Higgs Dog Park: Benefits the Florida Keys SPCA. Costumes encouraged!
Sat, Dec 10, 8:00pm, Schooner Wharf Annual Key West Lighted Boat Parade: A glittering parade of illuminated watercraft. Arrive at the Key West Bight Marina at the Historic Seaport early in order to stroll through the magical Key West Harbor Walk of Lights.
Sat, Dec 10 and Fri, Dec 16, Visit Santa at the North Pole, 12:00-2:00pm: Kids of all ages can visit with Santa at the Southernmost “North Pole,” conveniently located in the upstairs level of the historic Shops at Mallory Square, 291 Front Street. Letter writing stations and a mailbox will be available for the younger set.
Fri, Dec 16, Holiday Historic Inn Tours – Night 2, 6:00-8:00pm: Visit and tour four beautifully decorated island locales: Hemingway’s Library @ Papa’s Pilar Distillery, The Marquesa Hotel, The Gardens Hotel, and Island City House, and explore their unique architecture and history while enjoying sweet and savory holiday treats and libation samplings.
Sat, Dec 17, 7:00am check-in, 8:00am start time, 14th A Positive Step 5K Rudolph Red Nose Run: Don your festive holiday jammies and join in the 14th A Positive Step 5K Rudolph Red Nose Run, starting and ending at the Southernmost Beach Café, 1405 Duval Street. Runners and walkers of all ages and abilities are welcome to participate; first 100 registrants receive a free t-shirt.
Sun, Dec 18, 11:00am-3:00pm, Holiday Classic Car Show: See classic cars from a variety of eras at the official show of the Florida Keys Southernmost Car Club, and choose a People’s Choice winner with your votes. Located at the Conch Republic Seafood Company parking lot at the corner of Greene and Elizabeth Streets. Attendees are asked to bring an unwrapped toy for the Monroe County Domestic Abuse Shelter.
Sun, Dec 18, 5:00pm, City of Key West Menorah Lighting Ceremony at Bayview Park.
Dec 25, Holiday Jazz in the Gardens, 5:00-7:00pm: The Gardens Hotel at 526 Angela street welcomes holiday-goers to festive outdoor jazz in its famous garden, with a full cash bar on site and a 20% Christmas discount on bottled wine and bubbly.
Sat, Dec 31 – For your midnight toast, chose between an abundance of uniquely Key West New Year’s Eve Celebrations, including the Conch Shell Drop at Sloppy Joe’s Bar on Duval Street; the world-famous Red High Heel Drop with Sushi the Drag Queen at the Bourbon St. Pub; the saucy Pirate Wench Drop at the Historic Seaport; and at the Ocean Key Resort, the salty Key Lime Wedge in a Margarita Glass drop, along with live music by Tony Baltimore’s Beatles tribute band.
“Key West Holiday Fest is a sparkling, month-long celebration of the season, celebrated in our unique tropical island style,” commented Jodi Weinhofer, President of the Lodging Association of the Florida Keys and Key West. “From lighted parades on land and sea, to enchanting inn tours, musical performances, stage events, and New Year’s Eve extravaganzas, there’s something wonderful for all ages happening here.”
Key West Holiday Fest is presented by Berkshire Hathaway Keys Real Estate, Opal Key Resort and Marina, Ocean Key Resort, The Lodging Association of the Florida Keys and Key West, and the Monroe County Tourist Development Council. For links and information, visit keywestholidayfest.com; for more information contact the Lodging Association at 305-296-4959.
Saturday, December 3, from 11am to 2pm, bring your critters to Hank’s Hair of the Dog Saloon, 409 Caroline Street in Key West for pet pictures with The Grinch. For a $20 cash donation you’ll get a professional high-resolution digital photo of your favorite four-legged friend with the world famous furry green grump, photographed by ArJay Hasty. Organized by Bone Island Dog Spa and Niall Geoghegan, hosted by Hank’s and co-hosted by the fabulous Q-Mitch, all proceeds benefit River’s Wish, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit senior dog sanctuary founded by Key West’s beloved pet and people advocate, "Farmer" Jeanne Selander. Leashed pets can immerse in a multitude of aromas while their people bid on silent auction prizes, sip cocktails and mocktails from Hanks full bar and enjoy lunch selections from Garbo’s Food Truck. Hank’s proprietor, Linda Turek, has generously promised to match all funds raised. For more information on River’s Wish, Inc., visit www.riverswishinc.org. For more information on pet pictures with The Grinch contact Kate McDonnell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a Safe 4th of July.
The Key West Fire Marshal’s Office would like to remind the community to stay safe this 4th of July.
Public fireworks displays are not allowed within the boundaries of the City of Key West unless permitted by the Key West Fire Department.
The City Code of Ordinances stipulates that permitted fireworks shall be handled by a state-licensed pyrotechnician.
Key West has a large number of old wooden structures, and illegal fireworks pose a threat of fire as well as injury.
KWFD Fire Marshal Jason Barroso main concern “is that everyone remains safe while celebrating this year’s 4th of July holiday.”
The Rotary Club of Key West will have its annual approved and permitted fireworks display on the 4th of July at Edward B Knight Pier.
The Key West City Commission has declared June 19th as Juneteenth Independence Day.
In 1865, nearly nine decades after our nation’s founding and more than two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, enslaved Americans in Galveston, Texas, finally received a proclamation declaring that they were free from bondage.
“On June 19th, 1866, Black Americans came to commemorate Juneteenth with celebrations across the country, building new lives and a new tradition that we honor today,” reads the proclamation.
Last year, President Joe Biden signed into law the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act creating a federal holiday.
Utility Board member Mona C. Clark accepted the proclamation.
“Juneteenth has been celebrated year after year after year,” she said. “Fortunately, this year it’s being celebrated as a national holiday. We’re very grateful.”
In recognition of the holiday, City offices will be closed on Monday, June 20th.
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