The Iconic Key Lime Pie Takes Center Stage at Key West Festival
May 24, 2023 • KW Concierge
The 10th annual Key Lime Festival will take place in Key West, Florida, from June 30 through July 4, bringing a flavorful celebration to the area's historic culinary scene. As the center of the lime-based culinary universe, Key West celebrates its signature dessert, the Key Lime Pie, with numerous unique events and festivities.
Tradition Meets Competition at the Festival
The main highlight of the festival, attracting nationwide attention, is the World Famous Key Lime Pie Eating Championship. This highly anticipated event features around 24 participants who compete by consuming a 9-inch Key Lime Pie without using their hands. The event is held on Independence Day at the Southernmost Beach Cafe, turning a traditionally patriotic holiday into a unique, local celebration.
Key Features of the Key Lime Festival
Key points and events to look forward to at the festival include:
- Vendor Village: Between 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., attendees can browse through an on-site vendor village.
- Kickoff Party: The official festival kickoff is slated for 5 p.m. on Friday, June 30, with a reception at the Curry Mansion, the historical birthplace of the Key Lime Pie. Here, attendees can mingle with co-founder and Key Lime Pie aficionado, David Sloan. Sloan is the author of both "The Key West Key Lime Pie Cookbook" and "Key Lime Pie: An Intriguing History of Key West’s Native Dessert," which will be available for purchase and signing.
- Key Lime Pie Drop: A whimsical event on Sunday, July 2, challenges contestants to drop a miniature Key Lime Pie from the top of the Key West Lighthouse, with the goal of not damaging the delicate dessert.
A Spectrum of Lime-Infused Attractions
The festival's offerings span a range of activities, all centered around the aromatic Key Lime:
- Key Lime Bike Tours: Attendees can explore the town on daily tours dedicated to the signature citrus fruit.
- Cooking Classes: Master the art of crafting mini Key Lime pies in expert-led classes.
- Key Lime Scavenger Hunt: A scavenger hunt centered around the Key Lime offers an exciting, interactive way to engage with the festival.
- Growing Key Lime Trees: A special master class educates attendees on how to grow Key Lime trees, complemented by tree giveaways.
- Chef-Guided Tasting Experience: A professionally guided culinary experience lets attendees savor Key Lime hors d'oeuvres.
- Sampling of Locally Distilled Key Lime Rum: Participants can taste a local twist on rum, flavored with the star of the show, Key Limes.
- Lime-Inspired Dinners: Special dinners featuring Key Lime-infused dishes highlight the versatility of this local fruit.
The festival concludes on July 4 with a traditional patriotic party, complete with a waterfront fireworks display by the Rotary Club of Key West and a ticketed VIP Fireworks Dinner at Key West’s Indigenous Park.