New Year's Eve partiers tired of cold-weather festivities such as the traditional "ball drop" in New York's Times Square can find exuberant celebrations and much warmer temperatures in the Florida Keys.
Revelry in the Upper Keys is to include fireworks displays and other inviting activities at popular Key Largo and Islamorada restaurants and resorts.
In Key West, merrymakers can get the "drop" on the new year at any of three unique takes on the Times Square tradition as midnight approaches Saturday, Dec. 31.
Actually, for everyone seeking warm weather and a warmer welcome, there's no better place to celebrate the arrival of a new year than the Florida Keys & Key West. Click here for the festive facts.
BayJama to Bring Reggae Rhythms to Islamorada
Looking for a "what-to-do-the-Saturday-after-Thanksgiving" event? The third annual BayJama Reggae Fest, scheduled Nov. 26 at Islamorada's Founders Park, brings reggae rhythms to music lovers in an appealing Upper Keys setting. Preview the tuneful good time here.
Drop Anchor in Key West for Piratical Partying
The historic seafaring town of Key West is to become a pirate stronghold Nov. 24 through Dec. 4, when "brethren of the coast" and winsome wenches invade the island for the 12th annual Pirates in Paradise Maritime Heritage & Music Festival. Click here, matey, and prepare to hoist the Jolly Roger.
Islamorada's Holiday Festival Set for Dec. 2
Despite subtropical air temperatures, the forecast calls for snowflakes — and a 20-ton snow mountain for kids — during the seventh annual Florida Keys Holiday Festival at Islamorada's Founders Park. For details of the holiday highlight, click here.
ARTS & CULTURE
For four decades, Impromptu Classical Concerts of Key West has brought stellar chamber music artists, ensembles and string orchestras to the Keys. Preview the highly acclaimed organization's 40th anniversary season here.
Divers interested in turning their passion into a profession can do so at Hall's Dive Center & International Diving Career Institute in Marathon, Florida's most extensive diving vocational school. Click here to submerge yourself in the details.
A weekend of fun is planned for both anglers and non-anglers during the Pigeon Key Flagler Centennial Fishing Tournament, scheduled Nov. 25-26 in waters surrounding the Keys' famous Seven Mile Bridge. Click here for the "reel" details.
"PROFILES IN PARADISE"
After calling many countries home and indulging in plenty of "junk food," Charlie Wilson established roots in Key West and opened Help Yourself, offering natural and healthy foods. Click here to see how she's bringing "real food" to the Florida Keys and inspiring people to help themselves.
throughout the Florida Keys
Bubba Fest 2011
Join a popular bicycling and resort camping adventure from Key Largo to Key West. Lodging, meals and plenty of sunshine, scenery and memories are included. Click here.
in Key West
Key West World Championship Race
High-speed offshore powerboats race in Key West Harbor and surrounding waters in the island's longstanding challenge — acclaimed internationally as the Indianapolis 500 of powerboat racing. Click here.
Nov. 10 - Dec. 3
Marathon Community Theater: "Sleeping Indoors"
Jim Holt's play showcases the rifts between the haves and the have-nots with humor and insight, and affords a glimpse of the true holiday spirit. Click here for show times and ticket prices.
in Key Largo
30th Annual Key Largo Cookoff
This island-style jubilee, where the public can sample the creations of amateur and professional chefs, is set for 7 p.m. at the Holiday Inn, mile marker (MM) 100. Click here.
in Key Largo
Third Annual Key Largo Bridge Run
Greet the sunrise where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Gulf of Mexico during this 10k, half marathon and 5k walk/run over part of the historic 18-Mile Stretch to "the Gateway to the Keys." Click here.
"Ladies, Let's Go Fishing!" Seminar
An opportunity for women to polish their angling skills and fish, the fun-filled seminar is sponsored by the namesake fishing education and advocacy group. Hosted at Holiday Isle Resort, the legendary event boasts nearly 6,000 lady graduates over the last 16 years. Click here.
Nov. 17, Dec. 15
Morada Way Arts & Cultural District Third Thursday Art Walk
This monthly showcase presents the fine arts, live music and culinary nuances of the Purple Isles at galleries between MM 81 and 82. Click here.
in Big Pine & the Lower Keys
Lower Keys Chamber Annual Golf Tournament
Amateur golfers can compete for cash and prizes, including a million-dollar specialty shot. The four-person scramble is held at the Key West Golf Club, the continental USA's southernmost tropical course. Click here.
Dec. 9-10, 16-17
in Key West
Holiday Historic Lighted Inn Tours
Discover the holiday spirit and Key West's architecture and history by touring beautifully decorated historic inns each evening. Hosted by the Key West Innkeepers Association, the tours include culinary masterpieces by top island chefs and creative offerings by local artists, writers and performers. Click here.
Boot Key Harbor Lighted Christmas Boat Parade
At this traditional Middle Keys holiday kick-off, watch as dinghies, mega-yachts and anything in between star in a sparkling procession in the harbor. The festivities start at 5 p.m. Click here.
in Big Pine & the Lower Keys
Lower Keys Lighted Boat Parade
All boats are welcome to enter the 7 p.m. parade including deep-sea cruisers, dinghies, kayaks and canoes. The best recommended viewing is from Pine Channel Causeway or Parrotdise Waterfront Bar & Grille on Little Torch Key. Call Steve at 305-923-5370 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.