Anyone that knows Key West will tell you: Eat the Key Lime Pie.
The decadent treat is a staple in the Florida Keys, and it’s popularity among island locals goes back a century. Read our blog on the origin of the key lime in the Florida Keys here.
Key Limes may not be grown in the Keys anymore, but enjoying them is certainly part of the culture of Key West. The Key Lime Festival celebrates that enjoyment with a variety of fun and tasty events beginning on the 4th of July weekend. Whether you create, eat, drink or just watch, this Festival is fun for everybody!
The Kick Off event takes place at the Southernmost Beach Cafe (1405 Duval), beginning at 11 am. While observers chill on the beach and maybe dance to a few tunes by the beachside DJ, the contestants are strolling in for the infamous World Championship Key Lime Pie Eating Contest at Noon at the Southernmost Beach Cafe. Brave souls can pay $20 to see how quickly they can consume a Key Lime Pie, piled high with whipped cream topping. No hands, of course! You get a 9” pie, a souvenir t-shirt and bragging rights. Register here. The contest is free to watch and the cafe’s full menu is available.
We recommend digesting your own Key Lime Pie at the Independence Day fireworks display at the Casa Marina Resort (doors open at 5 pm for the picnic) or Higgs Beach.
The highlight of Thursday, July 5th, is the Key Lime Scavenger Hunt, beginning at 3:30. This takes a bit of organization as you’ll need to create a team of two to five people to compete — no more, no less! For $30 per person, the teams follow clues to discover hidden secrets and sights of Key West, as well as several bars. You’ll have plenty of “2 for 1” drink tickets to cash in, which may affect your ability to hunt down the clues. Register here.
On Saturday, July 6, from 11 am to 2 pm, the Festival’s “Pie in the Sky Sponsors”, The Key West Art and Historical Society, present the Key Lime Pie Drop, demonstrating a nifty new use for the Key West Lighthouse. The object is to outsmart gravity by building a container that will keep a 5 inch Key Lime Pie in tact when dropped from the top of the Key West Lighthouse. The Festival gives you the pie; you build and bring the contraption. It’s free to watch and to enter, and prizes are available, but you must register in advance here.
All of that activity will make you thirsty. Thankfully, the Key Lime Festival kindly presents the Sip and Stroll starting at 2pm on Saturday afternoon. Ten bars compete for bragging rights to the best Key Lime margaritas and martinis. For $30, you’ll get a souvenir sipping cup, wristband and scorecard so you can vote on your favorite concoctions. The Stroll begins at General Horseplay, 423 Caroline Street and the winners will be posted there the next day.
On Sunday, July 7th, gorge on Key Lime French Toast for brunch at the Southernmost Beach Cafe or join the discussion at the White Tarpon to savor a little Key Lime History with your brunch. Then head on over to the 7th Annual Key Lime Pie Hop. Wander around Old Town and sample five different variations of Key Lime Pie. You get a free festival t shirt with your $30 entry fee. Register here.
Happy 4th of July, and Bon Appetit!
You can check these and other events at the festival’s website here.