Hemingway look-alikes gather in Key West for annual contest

The competition began Thursday evening at Sloppy Joe's Bar, frequented by Hemingway when he lived in Key West during the 1930s.

KEY WEST, Fla. | About 160 stocky, white-bearded men resembling Ernest Hemingway have gathered in Florida to compete in the island city’s annual Hemingway Look-Alike Contest.

The competition began Thursday evening at Sloppy Joe’s Bar, frequented by Hemingway when he lived in Key West during the 1930s.

Hemingway Days

In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Michael Groover, center, husband of celebrity chef Paula Deen, competes in the 2017 Hemingway Look-Alike Contest Thursday, July 20, 2017, at Sloppy Joe's Bar in Key West, Fla. Some 160 contestants are registered for this year's competition that is part of Key West's annual Hemingway Days festival. Another preliminary round is scheduled for Friday, July 21, and the finals are set for Saturday, July 22. Author Ernest Hemingway lived in Key West in the 1930s. (Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau via AP)

Hemingway Days

In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, celebrity chef Paula Deen, right, takes a selfie with a fan during the 2017 Hemingway Look-Alike Contest Thursday, July 20, 2017, at Sloppy Joe's Bar in Key West, Fla. Deen's husband, Michael Groover, is among 160 contestants registered for this year's competition that is part of Key West's annual Hemingway Days festival. Another preliminary round is scheduled for Friday, July 21, and the finals are set for Saturday, July 22. Author Ernest Hemingway lived in Key West in the 1930s. (Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau via AP)

Judged by former winners, the three-night contest is a highlight of the Hemingway Days festival honoring the late author’s literary prowess and colorful lifestyle.

Many competitors wear sportsman’s garb associated with Hemingway.

Entrants include repeat contender Michael Groover of Savannah, Georgia, husband of celebrity chef Paula Deen. Deen cheered from the audience as her husband made the semifinal round set for Saturday evening.

The second preliminary round is scheduled for Friday evening. The 2017 look-alike winner will be chosen Saturday night.

Hemingway Days continues through Sunday.