KEY WEST, Florida Keys - During the year marking the 75th publication anniversary of Ernest Hemingway's novel To Have and Have Not, scores of stocky bearded men should see if they have what it takes to win Sloppy Joe's Papa Hemingway Look-Alike Contest.
Approximately 125 entrants are expected to compete in the look-alike challenge at Key West's Sloppy Joe's Bar, 201 Duval St., frequented by Hemingway when he lived and wrote on the subtropical island throughout the 1930s.
Among entrants should be the top finisher in a Virtual "Papa" Hemingway Look-Alike Contest. Photographic entries are being accepted through June 22 on the Florida Keys' Facebook page (facebook.com/floridakeysandkeywest
). The winner is to receive a trip to Key West to compete in a preliminary round of Sloppy Joe's 2012 contest.
A highlight of the July 17-22 Hemingway Days festival, the real contest features preliminary rounds at 6:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, July 19 and 20. The newest Papa is to be chosen during a final round beginning at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, July 21 - the 113th anniversary of Hemingway's birth.
Entrants from around the United States and other countries typically compete in the quirky contest, dressing in safari togs, wool fisherman's turtlenecks and other garb associated with the Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winner's Papa persona. Whether first-timers or repeat contenders, they are judged by a panel of past contest winners.
Look-alikes also take part in many other Hemingway Days events, including an evening welcome party Wednesday, July 18, at the Doubletree Grand Key Resort, 3990 S. Roosevelt Blvd.
There's also an offbeat Running of the Bulls, a lighthearted salute to the annual event in Pamplona, Spain. The fun begins at noon Saturday, July 21, with photo opportunities with Papas outside Sloppy Joe's. At 1 p.m. they stage the popular sporting spoof, promenading alongside fake bulls on wheels, and later host a birthday party for Ernest complete with cake.
In addition, many Papas show their strength in Sloppy Joe's annual arm-wrestling challenge, which begins at noon Sunday, July 22.
Other look-alike events include the presentation of scholarships to Florida Keys students. The scholarship program is funded primarily by contributions from Papas and their supporters.
Event information: www.sloppyjoes.com
Key West visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/keywest