KEY WEST, Fla. — Scores of Ernest Hemingway look-alikes took to the Key West streets Saturday for the “Running of the Bulls,” a zany (and much safer) take-off on the annual run held in Pamplona, Spain.
The stocky, white-bearded look-alikes followed the Pamplona parody with a birthday cake and celebration saluting the 119th anniversary of Hemingway’s July 21st birth.
The events were highlights of Key West’s Hemingway Days festivities, honoring the legendary American author who lived and wrote on the island during the 1930s.
The bull run began and ended outside Sloppy Joe’s Bar, a frequent Hemingway hangout in the 1930s. It featured past winners and current competitors in Sloppy Joe’s annual Hemingway Look-Alike Contest, parading through Key West’s historic downtown with life-size replica bulls on wheels.
Saturday night, 29 semi-finalists culled from 151 entrants are to vie for victory in the final round of the famed Look-Alike Contest.
Hopefuls have come from several continents to compete in the three-night competition. Semi-finalists include Michael Bull of Dalkeith, Australia; Knut Franstad of Siggerud, Norway; and repeat contender Michael Groover of Savannah, Georgia — husband of celebrity chef Paula Deen.
Hemingway Days concludes Sunday and features events including literary and film presentations, a three-day marlin tournament and a historic tour of Hemingway sites in Key West.