Busy weekend in Upper Keys – Cook-offs, bridge run highlight activities

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There’s no shortage of activities to get out and enjoy today and tomorrow in the Upper Keys. A sampling:

TODAY & THIS WEEKEND

• Thursday, Nov. 8, the 37th annual cook-off at 7 p.m. kicks off at Holiday Inn Key Largo, MM 100. Food lovers should bring their appetites and join in on the fun as professional and amateur chefs use their skills and expertise to craft some of the finest food. The event is put on by the Key Largo Chamber of Commerce.

• The Sixth Annual Cheeca Lodge & Spa All American Backcountry Fishing Tournament runs through Saturday. In honor of Veterans Day, the event will host two war heroes to join the competition. Proceeds benefit the locally based nonprofit Guides Trust Foundation of the Florida Keys.

SATURDAY

Participants in the Key Largo Bridge Run cross the Jewfish Creek Bridge Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in Key Largo, Fla. The event attracted more than 500 entrants who participated in either 5K, 10K or half-marathon divisions. The bridge is one of 42 over water that help comprise the Florida Keys Overseas Highway connecting the island chain with the Florida peninsula. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY (Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)

• Starting at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 11 will be the First State Bank Key Largo Bridge Run 10K/5K. Participants will run or walk over the Jewfish Creek Bridge overlooking Key Largo Bay. After the race, runners and walkers can reunite with family and friends at Gilbert’s Resort to enjoy food, refreshments and music.

Mexican dish chili con carne in a spoon on a wooden background, concept photo, top view

• From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Riva Motorsports & Marine of the Keys will hold its third annual Charity BBQ Throwdown Event & Chili Cook-off. Some of the best amateur BBQ and chili cook-off masters will compete for cash prizes, trophies and bragging rights. Funds from the event will go to assist in the purchase of new technology equipment for Treasure Village Montessori. Riva Motorsports & Marine of the Keys is located at 102550 Overseas Highway.

• On Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Dolphins Plus Marine Mammal Rescue will hold its first annual open house at 31 Corinne Place in Key Largo. Get to know the local whale and dolphin organization. The family event will feature live dolphin demonstrations, tours, food trucks and more.

• Yacht Works Rock the Dock Sea Trial Event will take place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Event attendees can check out the available boats and sea trials will be available. Yacht Works Mangrove Marina is located at MM 91.5 bayside.

Last year’s museum event had a Flagler theme. This year, it’s pirate all the way. (That’s Jerry Wilkinson, who makes a very convincing Henry Flagler.)

• From 6 to 10 p.m., The Keys History and Discovery Center is hosting its annual “Night at the Museum.” This year, the theme is “Bootlegger Bash” and libations from Islamorada Distilling and Islamorada Beer Company will provide the evening’s lubricant. The museum is located inside the Islander Resort, MM 82.

Scott Kirby will take the stage this weekend as part of Saturday’s Raise The Roof Benefit Concert at the Murray Nelson Cultural Center, MM 102 in Key Largo. CONTRIBUTED

• From 7 to 10 p.m., Garden Club of the Upper Keys is putting on Raise The Roof Benefit Concert starring the legendary Scott Kirby at the Murray Nelson Cultural Center, MM 102 in Key Largo. Kirby is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, storyteller, sailor and road warrior who performs 150 shows a year in the U.S. and Canada. General admission is $35 and VIP, front row, is $100. There will also be a silent auction, beer, wine and refreshments. All proceeds go toward the replacement of the hurricane-damaged roof at The Francis Tracy Garden Center in Key Largo.

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