News from Florida Keys and Key West
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March 8–9: Original Marathon Seafood Festival
One of the middle Keys’ signature culinary and family events, gourmet delicacies from the waters of the Florida Keys highlight this annual munch-fest at Marathon Community Park, mile marker 49 oceanside. Sponsored by Organized Fishermen of Florida and Marathon Chamber of Commerce. Live music, vendor booths, sweets, treats and beverages make for a delectable weekend. Florida Keys Art Guild also hosts an open-air art show at entrance to the festival.
For more information on Original Marathon Seafood Festival, visit http://marathonseafoodfestival.com/
Humphrey Bogart Film Festival Returns to Key Largo May 1-4
Celebrating the life and films of the man the American Film Institute named “America’s greatest male screen legend,” the Humphrey Bogart Film Festival returns to Key Largo Thursday through Sunday, May 1-4.
The event marks 66 years since the premiere of the movie “Key Largo,” starring Bogart and his wife Lauren Bacall, which was partly filmed on the island at the top of the Florida Keys archipelago. “Key Largo” was the fourth and final film pairing the married actors.
Endorsed by the Bogart Estate, the event is produced in partnership with the Key Largo Chamber of Commerce.
The theme for the second annual festival is “Romance.” Bogart’s son and festival host Stephen Bogart is to join film historian Leonard Maltin to screen Bogart classics and some of the most romantic movies of all time for fans and audiences.
A rotating selection of films is planned in addition to cocktail parties, a formal Bogart Ball and a display of Bogart memorabilia. Festival attractions also include canal cruises on the fully restored African Queen, the original boat from John Huston’s 1951 film of the same name that starred Bogart and Katharine Hepburn. The venerable vessel is docked at the Holiday Inn Key Largo, mile marker 100.
“It just feels right to honor my father and his movies in this beautiful place, which has such an organic connection to his legacy,” said Stephen Bogart of the iconic performer who appeared in 75 movies during a 50-year career.
“It’s a perfect way to bring his name back into the public again, and keep it there in a positive way, and for people to come down and have fun,” said Bogart.
Bogie fans from around the globe can interact socially on the event’s website, Facebook and Twitter pages. Fans can buy tickets and merchandise on the event website.
For more information on Humphrey Bogart Film Festival, visit www.bogartfilmfestival.com
Key Largo visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/keylargo or 800-822-1088
Contemporary Sculptures Debut in Key West
Twenty contemporary sculptures are enhancing the land- and seascapes in and around a Civil War-era fort and an Atlantic Ocean beach during the 18th annual Sculpture Key West.
Running until 23 March 2014, the open-air show spotlights the talent of national and local sculptors on the subtropical island known for its lively arts community.
A new “Under 25” show features the work of five young emerging artists from across America whose images deal with influences ranging from feminism to fun in the sun. The “Under 25” exhibit can be viewed at Coast, located on Stock Island.
Sculptures in the main exhibition are displayed on the grounds of West Martello Tower, home of the Key West Garden Club, and the surrounding Higgs Beach located on Atlantic Boulevard near White Street.
Art lovers can view the sculptures while exploring West Martello, a never-used Civil War–era fort that has become one of the most tranquil hideaways in the Florida Keys. Set against the wide sweep of the Atlantic Ocean, the fort now shelters a lush garden featuring indigenous plants, rare palm trees and breathtaking vistas. Artists from eight American states are represented at Sculpture Key West, showcasing their work in a wide variety of traditional and experimental media. Some sculptures were constructed on site, while some incorporate native materials such as local plant life.
Featured installations include a larger-than-human Palm Goddess created with palm fronds and Florida Keys vegetation, a floating shark and organic forms incorporating LED lights that invite consideration of mass and gravity, a vine fabricated out of steel tubing that twists across the ground and fences of West Martello and glowing abstractions of the human form carved out of white indigenous stone.
Art aficionados can view the Sculpture Key West exhibit at West Martello from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free.
For more information on Sculpture Key West, visit www.sculpturekeywest.org
Following its January grand opening, Glunz Ocean Beach Hotel and Resort has become the latest addition to the accommodations offerings in Marathon's Key Colony Beach. Located at 351 East Ocean Drive, the property earlier had a soft opening in March 2013 following two years of extensive renovations.
The renovated resort's amenities include a heated pool and spa on a private beach, a fitness room and more. All standard rooms come with complimentary Wi-Fi and flat-screen televisions, and suites also are equipped with full kitchen appliances.
In conjunction with the property's grand opening, hotel owner Jack Glunz and his family launched a partnership with Key Largo’s Coral Restoration Foundation with a donation of $10,000. Named “Pay it Forward,” the program gives hotel guests the option to donate $1 to the foundation for each night of their stay. The hotel has pledged to match donations dollar for dollar. Visit glunzoceanbeachhotel.com.
Marathon’s Tranquility Bay Resort recently added 16 new tropical garden guestrooms to the property located at 2600 Overseas Highway. Offering a blend of luxury accommodations, the resort is situated on 12 landscaped acres.
Tropical garden guestrooms are all single-level units ideal for couples, seniors and other travelers seeking privacy and an intimate atmosphere. In addition, a dedicated area that surrounds the new guestrooms has a private pool set away from the main resort area.
With its new rooms, the waterfront property has further diversified its range of accommodations, which includes 87 two- and three-bedroom beach houses located on 1,100 feet of private shoreline.
Additional resort amenities include exotic, lagoon-style and adults-only swimming pools; on-site watersports, in-room spa services, a beachside tiki bar and several dining options at the resort’s Butterfly Café. For more information, visit www.tranquilitybay.com.
For more information on the Florida Keys & Key West, visit www.fla-keys.co.uk
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