Ernest Hemingway lives on. Since 1981, Florida has been home to the Hemingway Look-Alike Contest held at Sloppy Joe’s Bar in Key West. That tradition continues with the crowning of the 29th “Papa.” This group of jolly men lovingly welcomed Charles Bicht as the 2010 winning Hemingway Look-Alike. In the photo above, you can see the 2009 winner, David Douglas planting a congratulatory kiss on Bicht’s cheek.
The winner’s statement includes this quote: “For eleven years I stood on Green Street outside Sloppy Joe’s waiting for the winner’s name to be called. Each year, with a little disappointment for myself but a great excitement for the winner, I would gather my loyal family and friends who were always there to support me and we would find a good restaurant to have a final meal for the year in Key West. This year was a little different. I felt more relaxed and comfortable. I knew if it was meant to be, my time would come. I always enjoyed the competition but as the years rolled by I was enjoying the camaraderie more and more.”
The 1954 Nobel Prize Laureate still has many devoted fans who call For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea as their favorite books. The Hemingway Look-Alike contest is arguably one of the most creative ways to showcase Hemingway enthusiasm. Besides the feel good fun of this contest, it was actually formed to serve a charitable purpose. The contest funds the Hemingway Look-Alike Scholarship program which is awarded to students who attend Florida Keys Community College.