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Key West Street Fair and Sunsets

Booths at the Street Fair

The Papa Look-Alikes Contest is a big draw for fans of Key West Hemingway Days, but that’s not all this annual festival offers.

Saturday afternoon, Old Town hosted a Caribbean Street Fair, designed to reflect the spirit of Key West during the original Hemingway’s era. A large section of Duval Street was closed to vehicles for local artisans and mom-and-pop food vendors to display their goods. People browsed the stands, many sipping ice cold lemonade in the tropical heat. There was wall art designed from sheet metal, touristy plaques made from recycled fence, Cuban sandwiches, and Bahamian-prepared sausages among other items. We bought little other than bottled water, focused on hydration.

At dusk, over six hundred people participated in the Hemingway 5K Sunset Run/Walk. My husband entered as a runner, and convinced me to participate as a walker. I ran recreationally for a number of years, but with children and other responsibilities, I’d become more of a treadmill kind of gal this past decade. More recently, I was injured in a fall and endured PT for many months. My knees continue to give me grief. On top of that, Key West’s weather was still like a steambath at race time. I had valid concerns about finishing.

I kissed my husband good luck and he flew ahead of us few walkers with the other runners. I focused on putting one foot in front of the other, stretching my gait as far as possible and pumping those arms. And I kept that pace. Eventually, I passed a number of other racers, some jogging slower than my walk. That’s okay, though, because we were all in it for fun. The race entry fees went toward a local children’s organization, and there was something special about race-walking from the famous Southernmost Point, down Whitehead Street where Hemingway’s Museum is located, onto the Truman Annex, down the Quay for a spectacular sunset view, looping through sidestreets and back down Whitehead to the finish line at Southernmost Point. Spectators cheered and encouraged everyone. I did it. We all did it. It felt good. I may just enter another 5K in the future, and next time I’ll run.

What a View!

When was the last time you were coaxed into doing something outside your comfort zone? How did it turn out?

13 comments on “Key West Street Fair and Sunsets

  1. What a great day you had! How cool is that-walking 5k when you didn’t think you could finish! As they say, one can always do more. I guess it’s just a matter of one foot in front of the other, whether we’re talking about exercise or anything else we want to learn or improve upon. For me, stepping out of my comfort zone is pushing myself in my exercise. Work a little harder and do what i think i can’t.

  2. Several years ago, I ran for fitness. But, like Key West, Texas is a steambath for most of the year. Ultimately, I quit running because it was so hellish. Anyway, I said all that to say hats off to your husband for running in that 5K. I think it’s waaaay hotter at sunset than it is at sunrise. And good for you for walking in it. I’d much rather walk a 5K than run one! LOL

  3. The humidity was incredible. I think temps that day had reached 105, and that evening the Keys had phenomenal thunderstorms until the following noon. I was proud of hubby, too. He generally runs 2-3 miles a couple times a week, depending on his work schedule, but never in that kind of weather. He was sweet, walking back to meet me as I made my way to the finish line. One of the many reasons he’s my hero. 🙂

  4. Good for you!!! The humidity would have killed me. lol A long time ago I talked a friend into doing the March of Dimes walk. It was 15 miles. I trained a little and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be but then again the bod was a lot younger. : )

    1. Wow, 15 miles! I’m very impressed, Donna. March of Dimes is a great cause. Good for you and your friend, getting exercise, time together for a chat, and helping others. 🙂

  5. What a great pic of the sunrise…or sunset? Awesome all the same 🙂 Hmm, I feel like I’m always taken out of my comfort zone. Think when I last attended the retreat @ the Villa Immaculata and I hiked down the stairway of doom (and toward the beach) might be the last time I was physically out of my comfort zone, but it felt so good and I was glad I did it 😉

    1. Hi Tuere. Thanks for stopping by.

      The two water photos in this post were taken at sunset, although not on the same evening as my 5K. I miss the physical activity of Key West, but am triying to get out for a daily walk or swim since we’ve returned. Next week I’ll be blogging about kayaking on our local lake. That was quite a workout! 🙂

    1. Hi Julie! I had difficulty choosing which gorgeous photo to include in this posting, but this is likely my favorite from this trip. I believe that sailboat is owned by Danger Charters, which is one of the Key West companies to host a nightly sunset sail. We took a sunset sail on a Sebago catamaran this year. Both charters are equally wonderful, in my opinion. You would like it…all the wine you can drink is included. 😉

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