Hemingway look-alikes gather in Key West for annual contest

July 20, 2018
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In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, former winners of the Hemingway Look-Alike contest, including Tom Grizzard, third from right, evaluate entrants Thursday, July 19, 2018, at Sloppy Joe's Bar in Key West, Fla. The competition, that has attracted about 150 entrants, is part of the island city's annual Hemingway Days Festival that pays homage to Ernest Hemingway who lived and wrote in Key West in the 1930s. (Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau via AP)

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — Nearly 150 stocky, bearded men resembling legendary author Ernest Hemingway are in Key West competing in the 38th annual Hemingway Look-Alike Contest.

The competition began Thursday evening at Sloppy Joe’s Bar, frequented by Hemingway when he lived on the Florida island during the 1930s.

Hopefuls came from as far away as Australia and Norway to compete, parading across Sloppy Joe’s stage before a judging panel of former winners.

Thursday’s entrants included repeat contender Michael Groover, husband of celebrity chef Paula Deen, who cheered him from the audience.

The contest highlights Key West’s Hemingway Days festival, celebrating the late author’s writing talent and colorful lifestyle.

After a second preliminary round Friday, the 2018 winner is to be chosen Saturday, the 119th anniversary of Hemingway’s birth.

Hemingway Days continues through Sunday.