Human Interest

Hemingway impersonators “run with the bulls” in Key West

Miami, Jul 24 (EFE).- The finalists in the 2021 edition of the Ernest Hemingway look-alike competition in Key West took part Saturday in a mock running of the bulls as part of events marking the 122nd birthday of the Nobel Prize-winning novelist who once owned a home in the Florida city.

The street outside Sloppy Joe’s Bar, one of the writer’s favorite haunts during the decade he spent winters in Key West, was decked out with Spanish flags.

And the ersatz Hemingways wore the “uniform” of the running of the bulls in Pamplona: white shirt and pants with a red sash and beret.

It was Hemingway (1899-1961) who made the Pamplona bull run famous around the world with his description of the spectacle in his 1926 novel “The Sun Also Rises.”

Befitting the advanced age and ample girth of many participants, the bulls in Key West were wooden contraptions on wheels that rolled down the street at a stately pace.

The look-alike contest, launched in 1981, and the rest of Key West’s “Hemingway Days” celebration had to be cancelled last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nearly 140 hopefuls showed up at Sloppy Joes on Thursday to enter and the judges – past winners – spent two days evaluating the contestants to get down to 25 finalists.

Besides the look-alike contest, Hemingway Days includes a fishing tournament, a party on July 21 – the author’s actual birthday – and an arm-wrestling tourney.

Hemingway wrote many of his greatest works, notably a portion of “For Whom the Bell Tolls” (set during the Spanish Civil War), in Key West and his former home in the city is now a museum. EFE


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