Do locals and tourists alike need a reason to party in KW? Are you kidding? Does that “reason” make it easier to legitimize the over-indulgence? Maybe, but who really needs an excuse?
While there is no officially sanctioned parade, there is an impromptu one, highlighting the LGBT community and called the “Pink Paddy’s Day Parade”. It’s essentially a pub crawl with everyone wearing pink and drag queens leading the way! While other cities bar LGBT groups from their St. Patrick’s Day Parade (citing the religious origins of the event), Key West takes pride in its diversity — no “holier-than-thou” here! With the Pink Paddy’s Day Parade, Key West joins San Francisco in being the only American cities with a LGBT themed St. Patrick’s Celebration.
This year also marks the “34th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Bar Stroll”. Starting at noon at the Southernmost Beach Café (upper end of Duval Street), it proceeds from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico, hitting multiple bars along Old Town’s main drag. $30 buys a ticket for the stroll and a commemorative T-shirt that has a unique design each year. Proceeds go to the Cancer Foundation of the Florida Keys and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Keys Area. This is one of the locals’ most attended events, but if you’re on vacation, jump right in — they will definitely treat you as one of their own!