What’s Happening in the Florida Keys & Key West

Islamorada Stages Underwater Easter Egg Hunt — April 5

The Easter bunny hosts this annual underwater egg hunt to benefit Kids in Special Situations, a local charity for needy children. Famous for his up-close creature feature dives with his undersea friends, Captain Spencer Slate, clad in a giant bunny suit and dive gear, hides brightly coloured Easter eggs for ardent bounty hunters to find, adjacent to shallow coral reefs in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

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For more information, visit www.captainslate.com

Amara Cay Resort to Host Meetings, Weddings and Events in Enhanced Spaces — Reopening April 2015
The former Islamorada Resort is being relaunched as Amara Cay Resort, an upscale boutique hotel slated to open in April 2015. Amara Cay’s meeting space is particularly suitable for small corporate events and incentive programs. Among the venues are “The Glass Bowl,” accommodating 60 guests for meetings and receptions. Other property renovations include increasing the number of rooms and suites to 110, updating outdoor amenities and creating an Italian-style eatery. For more information, visit www.amaracayresort.com.

Tennessee Williams Birthday Events Celebrate Late Playwright in Key West – Ongoing Through March 31
Tennessee Williams first visited Key West in 1941, subsequently buying a house there, where he resided until his death in 1983. Fans of the iconic American playwright can celebrate his legacy March 2 through 31 with cultural and creative events on the island he called home. Highlights are to include a March 26 “birthday party” recognizing the 104th anniversary of Williams’ birth, screenings of films adapted from his plays, challenges for poets and artists, a film forum and a staged reading that focuses on the playwright and his sister Rose. For more information, visit www.twkw.org.

33rd Annual Florida Keys Watercolor Society Art Show Now Happening In Marathon — Ongoing Through April 4
The Florida Keys Watercolor Society will showcase colorful, original watercolor pieces by local artists at the Marathon Community Theater’s main gallery during the production of “The Producers.” Art can be viewed at the Middle Keys theatre before performances, during intermission and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, visit www.fkwcs.com.

Strike Zone Charters Offers Unique Trip to the Keys’ Out-Islands — Ongoing
Create a lasting memory as Strike Zone Charters takes you on a relaxing and informative tour to the Lower Florida Keys’ Atlantic and Gulf out-islands. This unforgettable excursion will include snorkeling along the coral reef, some light tackle fishing, exploring the islands and Strike Zone’s famous fish cookout with all the trimmings. For more information, visit www.strikezonecharter.com.

Up to $500,000 Up for Grabs at Key Largo’s Jimmy Johnson National Billfish Championship — March 18 — 21
Two-time Super Bowl–winning coach Jimmy Johnson combines two of his favorite sports, football and fishing, during his namesake “Quest for the Ring” National Billfish Championship set for March 18-21 in the Florida Keys. The fourth annual team event, a must-do for competitive blue-water anglers, is characterized by high-energy parties and fishing action. Cash prizes and trophies await the first- through third-place boat teams, with prize amounts set at $50,000, $18,000 and $12,500, respectively. For more information, visit www.questforthering.com.

Key West Hosts Miss Gay Southernmost USofA Pageant — March 28
Female impersonators are to vie for the titles of Miss Gay Southernmost USofA and Miss Gay Southernmost USofA Classic Saturday, March 28, in a new preliminary competition for the national Miss Gay USofA Pageant, now in its 30th year. Events are to begin Friday, March 27, with a meet-and-greet party and sunset sail on Key West’s Fury Catamaran. In addition to mingling with contestants, pageant fans can meet the judges and Miss Gay USofA Jenna Skyy and Miss Gay USofA Classic Chevelle Brooks. For more information, visit www.missgaysouthernmost.com.

Key West Fishing Tournament to Kick Off 50th Year — April 3-5
For half a century the Key West Fishing Tournament has celebrated the rich variety of species found in Florida Keys waters while providing a sportfishing challenge for enthusiasts. Friday through Sunday, April 3-5, contemporary anglers can challenge themselves in the kickoff that introduces the 50th annual tournament. Cash awards and trophies await entrants scoring top catches in 15 different species. For more information, visit www.keywestfishingtournament.com.

Islamorada’s to Present 21st Annual Bay Jam — April 19
This music and art festival features local and guest artists performing on the shores of Florida Bay at the ICE Amphitheater at Founders Park. Revellers can savor the sounds from midday through sunset and into the night from the hammock-like performance center set against the aqua waters of Florida Bay. For more information, visit www.keysice.com.

Did you know that in 1982 the Florida Keys and Key West proclaimed themselves to be the Conch Republic? The fluted, pink-lined conch shell remains an enduring symbol of the island chain. This year, April 17-26, the Conch Republic is celebrating the 33rd anniversary of its independence. The 10-day festival includes activities ranging from a wacky bed race to the so-called “world’s longest parade” and a lighthearted sea battle featuring tall ships. Everyone gets involved and it’s always a lot of fun. For more information, visit www.conchrepublic.com

Photo credit: Bob Care, Florida Keys News Bureau

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