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Keys Traveler
Vol. 7, No. 2 Travel News From The Florida Keys & Key West December 2010

Food and wine enthusiasts can savor sunshine, standout dishes and stellar vintages during the second annual Key West Food and Wine Festival, set for Thursday through Sunday, Jan. 27-30.

Scheduled events showcase local chefs' culinary flair, indigenous Florida Keys ingredients, premium wines from around the world and offbeat "foodie" fun like bowling with coconuts.

The enticing "first course" is a barefoot evening beach party Thursday, Jan. 27, featuring island cuisine, wine and music beside the Atlantic Ocean at the Southernmost Beach Café.

For the full menu of events, click here.

Featured Stories
Fan-Friendly Orange Bowl Swimming Classic Set for Jan. 4
Some of the nation's finest collegiate swimmers are to vie for honors at the annual Orange Bowl Swimming Classic at Key Largo's Jacobs Aquatic Center. To preview the competition, click here.
Deck the Holiday Halls in Marathon
Visitors looking for mistletoe and merriment can find them in the Middle Keys this holiday season, from boat parades to posing for special photos with friendly dolphins. Click here for a roster of highlights.
Key Lime Pie: The Sweeter Side of Keys Cuisine
Virtually every travel destination boasts a signature dish that shouldn't be missed by the curious traveler. In the Florida Keys & Key West, that dish is Key lime pie. Click here to find out why this pie is a must-taste for all who visit the island chain.
'Nutcracker Key West' Blends Classic Ballet and Island Fantasy
The curtain goes up Dec. 17 on a classic holiday ballet recast to showcase Key West's tropical atmosphere, coral reef environment and seafaring heritage. For a "backstage pass" to "Nutcracker Key West," click here.
Keynotes
ARTS & CULTURE
Internationally renowned food writers are to offer a mouthwatering exploration of food in literature during the 29th annual Key West Literary Seminar, themed "The Hungry Muse." To sample the savory schedule, click here.
DIVING
As 2010 winds down, click here for a glimpse of some of the year's new, noteworthy and ongoing happenings for divers around the Florida Keys & Key West.
FISHING
The 21st annual Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament, the final leg of the three-tournament Florida Keys Gold Cup Championship series, is set for Jan. 20-22. Click here to check out the challenge.
"KEYS VOICES"
It was too windy to go fishing, so Charlotte Ambrogio went real estate shopping instead. Click here to find out how the fishing tournament director got "hooked" on the Florida Keys.
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Upcoming Keys Events
Dec. 1-11
in Key Largo
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park Turns 50
A multi-day birthday celebration is planned for America's first underwater park, with events culminating at Pennekamp Park Saturday, Dec. 11. Plus, that evening decorated boats are to proceed along the Blackwater Sound shoreline in a holiday boat parade themed "50 Years Under the Sea: Celebrating Pennekamp Park's 50th Anniversary." For anniversary highlights, click here.
Dec. 3
in Islamorada
Florida Keys Holiday Festival
The extravaganza begins with a tree-lighting ceremony at Founders Park, mile marker (MM) 87. A holiday parade follows featuring Santa, and events continue with a holiday gift bazaar and silent auction of ornaments decorated by local artists. Call 305-664-4503 or click here.
Dec. 10-11 &
17-18

in Key West
Historic Lighted Inn Tours
Discover the history and holiday spirit of Key West by touring beautifully decorated historic inns. The tours include creative offerings by local chefs, artists, writers and performers. Call 305-295-1334 or click here.
Dec. 11
in Big Pine &
the Lower Keys
Big Pine & the Lower Keys Island Art Festival
Highlights of this holiday event include live music by Keys entertainers, food, exhibits and booths featuring local artisans and handmade crafts. Festivities take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the grounds of the Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce, MM 31 oceanside. Call 305-872-2411 or click here.
Dec. 18
in Big Pine &
the Lower Keys
Lower Keys Lighted Boat Parade
Spectators can expect decorated boats on parade such as deep-sea cruisers, dinghies, kayaks and canoes. Santa and Mrs. Claus are to arrive and hand out candy to the kids. The best recommended viewing is from Pine Channel Causeway or Parrotdise Waterfront Bar & Grille, 183 Barry Ave. on Little Torch Key. Call 305-872-0106.
Dec. 31
in Islamorada
Islamorada Rings in the New Year
Midnight fireworks on the beach are planned at Pierre's Restaurant and Morada Bay Beach Café, MM 81.6 bayside, plus live music, cocktails, and a gala dinner at Pierre's. Call 305-664-8414. Cheeca Lodge & Spa, MM 82 oceanside, plans New Year's Eve fireworks at midnight, live entertainment, dancing on the beach and a four-course plated dinner. Call 305-664-4651, ext. 4580.
Dec. 31
in Key West
Key West New Year's Eve Celebrations
As midnight approaches, Key West is to stage three colorful takeoffs on New York City's famed Times Square "ball drop" by "dropping" a giant manmade conch shell, a pirate wench and a female impersonator in a giant red shoe. For details, click here.
Dec. 31
in Key Largo
New Year's Eve Fireworks on Blackwater Sound
The back bay is the setting for the annual New Year's Eve fireworks extravaganza hosted by Sundowners, Señor Frijoles, Cactus Jacks, Gus' Grille at the Marriott Key Largo Beach Resort and the Caribbean Club, MM 103-104. Call 305-451-4502 or click here.
Jan. 6-29
in Marathon
Marathon Community Theater Presents "A Bad Year for Tomatoes"
Over-the-top comedy ensues when famous actress Myra Marlowe takes time away from her career to pen an autobiography in a New England hamlet. She does not plan for bizarre neighbors, a homicidal "sister" or murderous suspicions. Call 305-743-0408 or click here.
Jan. 28-29
in Marathon
Second Annual Traditional Music Festival
Experience a weekend of traditional folk and bluegrass music in the Middle Florida Keys. Featured performers are to include nationally acclaimed musicians. Call 410-991-7848 or click here.
Upcoming Keys Events
The Florida Keys & Key West Key Largo Islamorada Marathon Big Pine Key & the Lower Keys Key West Key Largo Islamorada Marathon Big Pine Key & the Lower Keys Key West www.fla-keys.com Webcams Weddings Arts & Culture Fishing Diving & Snorkeling Accommodations