Jason Parker

Hundreds Take Part in ‘Hemingway Days 2017' Look-a-Like Contest in Key West

About 160 stocky, white-bearded men resembling Ernest Hemingway have gathered in Key West to compete in the island city's annual Hemingway Look-Alike Contest.

The competition began Thursday evening at Sloppy Joe's Bar, frequented by Hemingway when he lived in Key West during the 1930s.

Judged by former winners, the three-night contest is a highlight of the Hemingway Days festival honoring the late author's literary prowess and colorful lifestyle.

Many competitors wear sportsman's garb associated with Hemingway. The 2016 champion named Dave Hemingway - a North Carolina native who claims no relation to the author - is attempting to defend his title.

Entrants include repeat contender Michael Groover of Savannah, Georgia, husband of celebrity chef Paula Deen. Deen cheered from the audience as her husband made the semifinal round set for Saturday evening.

The second preliminary round is scheduled for Friday evening. The 2017 look-alike winner will be chosen Saturday night.

Hemingway Days continues through Sunday with a variety of events, including a fishing tournament and a "Running of the Bulls" featuring fake bulls on wheels taking over Duval Street.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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