From Key Largo to Key West, the 2017 holidays are sprinkled with spirited activities and stylish events featuring decorated boats, bicycles and one bodacious high-heeled shoe. Here are just some of the holiday highlights:
Dec. 6, 9 and 10: Lighted Bike Rides. In Key West (Dec. 6), Key Largo (Dec. 9) and Marathon (Dec. 10). Three lighted bike rides are held in the Keys to benefit Wesley House, a family service organization, and its toy drive. Families and individuals decorate and light their bikes for the evening rides. Registration price is one new unwrapped toy. Email [email protected] or call (305) 809-5000.
Dec. 8 to 10: Inaugural Southernmost Spirits Festival. Key West. Appealing to industry insiders, consumer cocktail and culinary lovers alike, the event encompasses product innovation, education and a good time filled with entertainment, camaraderie, tastings, celebrity bartender competitions and fun. Visit southernmostspiritsfest.com.
Dec. 8 to 10: I Love Stock Island. Key West. The second annual family-friendly festival blends culinary events, live music, history and art studio tours, a lively community party, watersports offerings and other immersive experiences that showcase the island and its eclectic working waterfront. A boat parade, "Taste of Stock Island," "Discover Stock Island" excursions, "StockFest," the Stock Rock & Roll Bike Ride and more highlight the area's seafaring tradition, culinary riches and vibrant creative enterprises. Visit ilovestockisland.org.
Dec. 8 and 15: Holiday Historic Inn Tours. Key West. Two evenings of tours include trolley transportation between several participating inns, each decorated for the holidays. Treats and libations are offered at each inn. Event-goers also can provide their own transportation or bicycle to the inns. Contact the Lodging Association of the Florida Keys and Key West to purchase tickets, priced at $30 per person. Visit keywestholidayfest.com.
Dec. 9: Keys Community Concert Band Holiday Concert. Key Largo. The family-friendly, free-admission event, themed "Not So Frozen," offers traditional and pops music performed by the Keys Community Concert Band, singalongs, stories and Santa as well as a children's ballet troupe performance. The concert is to be held at the Murray Nelson Government & Cultural Center, at mile marker 102. Visit keyscommunityconcertband.org.
Dec. 9: Fourth Annual Parade of Paws and Holiday Bazaar. Key West. The pet parade at Higgs Beach Dog Park supports the Florida Keys SPCA's animal care fund with pledges gathered by pet owners. Activities are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit fkspca.org.
Dec. 8, 9 & 10: Lighted Boat Parades. Stock Island, Key West, Key Largo & Key Colony Beach. Decorated and lighted boats are to cruise Florida Keys waters. For details about the Stock Island Lighted Boat Parade (Dec. 8) through community marinas, visit ilovestockisland.org. For more on the Schooner Wharf Lighted Boat Parade (Dec. 9) that travels around Key West's Historic Seaport and harbor areas, visit schoonerwharf.com. For the Key Largo Boat Parade (Dec. 9) on Blackwater Sound near mile marker 104, visit keylargoboatparade.com. For the Key Colony Beach Boat Parade (Dec. 10) visit kcbca.org/boatparade.htm.
Dec. 10: Christmas on the Sheriff's Animal Farm. Key West. Visit the furry, fluffy and feathered residents of the animal farm and petting zoo and get a photo taken with Santa. The Monroe County Sheriff's Office Animal Farm is located at the county's detention center just northeast of Key West at 5501 College Road. It's open on the second and fourth Sundays of each month. Call (305) 293-7300.
Dec. 15 & 16: A Holiday Concert at Marathon Community Theatre. Marathon. Shows are slated to ring in the holiday cheer at 7 p.m. both evenings at the theater, located at 5101 Overseas Highway. Tickets are on sale online at marathontheater.org.
Dec. 17: Artisan Market, a Holiday Shop Local Edition. Key West. Browse the vibrant open-air bazaar filled with Keys artists, authors, chef-made cuisine, craftspeople and performers. Admission is free; the market, located at 1111 Eaton St., is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit facebook.com/KeyWestArtisanMarket.
Dec. 21: Third Thursday Art Walk. Islamorada. Showcasing the area's fine arts, music and culinary nuances, the Morada Way Arts & Cultural District features national and local artisans who are showcased in galleries at Morada Way between mile markers 81 and 82 as well as beer tastings and live music, from 6 to 9 p.m. Admission is free. Art Walk is held the third Thursday of each month. Visit moradaway.org.
Dec. 21: Second Annual Custom House Holiday Concert & Bazaar. Key West. The Key West Art & Historical Society is to host the event at the Custom House Museum, 281 Front St. Highlights of the evening gathering include performances by musicians and choirs, local artisans showcasing their wares, a light show and selfies with Santa. Visit kwahs.org.
Dec. 27-28: 58th Annual Key West House Tours. Key West. Self-guided tours of unique Key West homes and gardens, festively dressed for the holidays, are to be presented by the Old Island Restoration Foundation. Tickets are $35 each. Proceeds benefit the foundation's museum and programs. Visit oirf.org.
Dec. 31:Annual Key West Dachshund Walk. As many as 200 dachshunds, many of them costumed, participate in this noontime "wiener wonderland" stroll. Canines and their owners meander through the island's picturesque downtown. Spectators can watch the fun, snap pictures and meet the canine participants on Fleming Street between Whitehead and Duval streets. Visit facebook.com/Key-West-Dachshund-Walk-161327957238019/.
Dec. 31: New Year's Eve "Drops" in Key West. Ring in the new year with a "conch shell drop" at Sloppy Joe's Bar, 201 Duval St.; the descent of a super-sized red high-heel shoe carrying the drag queen Sushi at the Bourbon Street Pub/New Orleans House complex, 724 Duval St.; the lowering of a pirate wench from atop a tall ship's mast at the Schooner Wharf Bar, 202 William St.; or at the Ocean Key Resort & Spa, at 0 Duval St., watch as a huge replica of a Key lime wedge splashes down into a larger-than-life margarita glass.
Dec. 31: New Year's Eve Fireworks on Blackwater Sound. Key Largo. The backcountry bay is the setting for the annual New Year's Eve fireworks extravaganza hosted by Sundowners, Jimmy Johnson's Big Chill, Senor Frijoles, Cactus Jack's, Gus's Grille at the Marriott Key Largo Beach Resort and the Caribbean Club, all located near mile markers 103-104. Visit keylargofireworks.com.
Dec 31: New Year's Eve Midnight Fireworks in Islamorada. Morada Bay Beach Cafe at mile marker 81.6 bayside is to host a large beach party with live music, a beach barbecue, signature cocktails, performers and fireworks. Visit https://moradabay.com/full-moon-party/.
Check out the Keys' complete calendar at fla-keys.com/calendar for even more options.