July 25, 2019
A Hemingway lookalike contest that would make Papa proud
by Christina Cerio
Gentlemen, start growing out your beards now for next year’s Ernest Hemingway lookalike contest, hosted annually in Key West according to WPTV. This year, over 100 Hemingway fanatics participated in the lookalike contest, which is on its 39th year. The contest is held at Sloppy Joe’s Bar, one of Hemingway’s favorite places to hang out while living in Key West. This year’s winner has been participating for 8 years, waiting for his shining moment. The love doesn’t end there. There’s actually a whole society of Hemingway lookalikes and you can visit their website here: https://www.papalookalikes.com. Note that I did not hyperlink that link and it’s not because I am technologically challenged, but because the website name made me chuckle.
Before you judge the society for the uncommon hobby that brings them together, check out this paragraph from their about page:
The Hemingway Look-Alike Society is much more than a bunch of “portly gray bearded old men.” Several years ago the society sought a way to honor the name of Ernest Hemingway while at the same time seeking a higher purpose for this wonderful group of bearded men who gather together every July. Thus the Hemingway Look-Alike Scholarship program was developed to provide students attending Florida Keys Community College a helping hand.
If you’re considering competing in the contest and need some help getting into character, I suggest Ernesto: The Untold Story of Hemingway in Revolutionary Cuba by Andrew Feldman or Ernest Hemingway: The Last Interview and Other Conversations.
If you think the whole competition is ridiculous, I recommend the same books because they are great reads.
Christina Cerio is the Manager of Direct Sales & Special Projects at Melville House.