Hemingway Look-Alike Contest

July 17th - 21st, 2024 in Key West, Florida

Hemingway Look-Alike Contest Details

Pre-register by mail or sign up online below. DEADLINE IS JULY 15, 2024.

The contest is limited to 80 contestants each night. Print out the entry form, complete the information, sign the front and back of the form, and mail it along with the indicated fees. Please indicate whether you will compete in the preliminary round on Thursday or Friday. Contestants may only sign up for one night. If a contestant has competed in the Thursday night round and does not advance to the final round, they may not sign up for Friday. Confirmation will be emailed to contestants. The contestant will be notified if entry forms arrive and the contest is already full.

Each preliminary round of the Sloppy Joe’s Hemingway® Look-Alike Contest will begin at 6:30 pm and finals at 6:30 pm in Sloppy Joe’s Bar (201 Duval Street) on three consecutive evenings, July 18-20, 2024

Contestants scheduled for Thursday night/round one should check in at the registration table near the stage at 5:00 p.m. Look-alike contestants will be given an assigned number and Hemingway® Look-Alike event t-shirt.

Contestants scheduled for Friday night/round two should check in at the registration table near the stage at 5:00 p.m. Look-alike contestants will be given an assigned number and Hemingway® Look-Alike event t-shirt.

If you have not pre-registered, you may sign up before either preliminary round at Sloppy Joe’s if space is available.

Although the contest doesn’t begin until 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, spectators and some contestants arrive early in the afternoon. Remember that this is summer in Key West. The temperature on stage under the lights can get pretty hot. There will be hundreds of folks in and around the bar, there’s no reserved seating, and television crews will be jostling for the best camera angle. Basically, it’s chaos, so please be patient.

Contestants will be given a number when checking in at the registration table. Contestants will line up by number.

Contestants will be called on stage in groups of eight, in order of assigned number, and introduced to the audience. Contestants will have 15 seconds to speak to the judges and audience. If wearing a hat, the contestants will be asked to remove the hat so that judges will be able to see their faces. We are looking for mature, heavy-set men with a full beard. However, several young Look-Alikes have participated, and some have actually made it to the finals. Contestants participating in the contest agree to allow their image to be used by Sloppy Joe’s and media and grant photo release (must sign the above talent release form).

Approximately twelve finalists will be chosen on Thursday and twelve on Friday to advance to the final round on Saturday. Finalists will be announced each night, and contestants will be asked to come on stage.

On Saturday, finalists will be called up on stage in groups of five and given one minute to present themselves to the judges.

The group will be narrowed down to five finalists. The five finalists will be called back to the stage and have two minutes to speak. Papa 2024 will be named from this group.

Papa 2024 will become a Judge for future contests and will no longer be able to compete in future contests.

Judging is handled by former Look-Alike winners, whom we call Papa.

Know your competition. The Look-Alikes arrive in ‘Hemingway Garb.’ Some even wear safari outfits, khakis, and even the excruciating hot wool fisherman turtleneck sweater. Many entrants have been competing for years. Some bring their own cheering squad. Most contestants admit (confidentially) that they may never win but return year after year for the fellowship. Contestants need to plan their own clothing.

The judges are looking for someone who looks like Ernest Hemingway, someone who will return each year to judge the contest, and someone who will work on the scholarship program. They are also looking for an individual with good moral character to represent the Hemingway Look-Alike Society.

Faithfully, the wives, known as the ‘Mamas,’ spend their time and vacations promoting their Papas and return to Key West each July for the event.

The Hemingway Look-Alike Society (HLAS) is very dedicated to its scholarship program and is the biggest contributor to the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys.

Note: Please do not bring any type of balloons; they will not be allowed in the bar. Dogs, animals, or birds will not be allowed in the bar. Contestants may not bring other people on stage.

'Wannbe' a Participant? Only 80 Contestants Per Night

Enter the Look-Alike Contest

Thursday, July 18

Limited to 80 Contestants

Friday, July 19

Limited to 80 Contestants

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