If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Papa Hemingway must feel exalted indeed. Key West has created an entire festival around the author’s fame and rustic good looks, calling it Hemingway Days.

Wally Collins poses in front of the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum Sunday, July 20, 2014, in Key West, Fla. Collins, a Phoenix restaurateur, won the 2014 "Papa" Hemingway Look-Alike Contest late Saturday, July 19, at Sloppy Joe's Bar.  The competition was a highlight of Key West's annual Hemingway Days festival that concludes Sunday. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY (Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)

(Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)

If you are white haired, bearded and a bit stout, you are in the running as the best physical likeness of Hemingway himself. The contest may not award you a significant sum to put in the pocket of your cargo shorts, but the camaraderie, fun and bragging rights are priceless. And you get the official t-shirt!

The 35th Annual Hemingway Days celebration begins July 21, Ernest’s birthday, and continues through the 26th. But having his good looks is not required to partake in these glory days. Hemingway’s enduring literary contribution is also highlighted through readings and a writer’s competition by contemporary fellow authors. In addition to Hemingway wannabes, look out for actual Hemingway kin, as grand daughter and author, Lorian Hemingway, will direct the literary competition.

Ernest Hemingway look- alikes kick off the Running of the Bulls Saturday, July 19, 2014, in Key West, Fla. The whimsical event, a parody of its namesake in Pamplona, Spain, is one of many events during Key West's Hemingway Days festival that continues through Sunday, July 20. Hemingway lived and wrote in Key West throughout most of the 1930s. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY (Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)

(Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)

Hemingway called Key West home in the 1930’s and frequented the local bars of the time. The remaining incarnations of those saloons, such as Sloppy Joes, will be the center of Hemingway fans’ attention as they emulate his socializing bravado. Key West’s version of the famous Running of the Bulls is sure to entertain participants and voyeurs alike. And if deep sea fishing is more to your liking, as it was for Ernest, join in on the three day Marlin fishing tournament.

What better excuse to take in all things Hemingway? Visit the Customs House Museum on Front Street to see rare Hemingway memorabilia and tour the Hemingway Homestead on Whitehead Street for the history behind the legend of one of Key West’s most celebrated citizens. Live the Hemingway life and make Papa proud!

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