Key Colony Beach celebrates its 61st birthday at the annual Key Colony Beach Day set for Sunday, March 4. Hosted by the Key Colony Beach Community Association, more than 70 vendors will be in attendance with wares ranging from artwork to food.

The Key Colony Beach Community Association fosters and encourages programs and activities in the city. As such, it offers vendor space freely to local nonprofits. Money raised at the event, including proceeds from the silent auction, is redistributed in the Middle Keys.

In 2016, Key Colony Beach Community Association gave out some $8,000 to local non-profits such as Take Stock in Children, KAIR, Florida Keys SPCA, Habitat for Humanity, Grace Jones, and Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition. The group also sponsors two scholarships at Marathon High School, and helped with beautification projects around the island.

The association also hosts the popular Coconut Crawl, helps with the holiday boat parade, hosts free concerts in the park open to everyone, and more.

Key Colony Beach Day dates back to 1971.

“I have vivid memories of my children in the casting contests,” said Key Colony Beach resident Pat Joseph-Becker. “It’s unbelievable how much the event has grown.”

Key Colony Beach has fewer than 1,000 residents and was incorporated in 1957. Phil Sadowski is widely considered the city’s founder, and was instrumental in its incorporation requiring state legislative approval. In 1959, sales on the island topped $1.6 million. When Hurricane Donna hit in September 1960, there were only 51 structures on the island, and it took less than 90 days to clean it up.

Key Colony Beach Day celebrates its 61st birthday on Sunday around the grounds of city hall. Event parking is head-in along 7th Street, as well as in open lots by 8th Street and on Sadowski Causeway. The event starts with the Shriner Pancake Breakfast at 8 a.m., and the parade at 11 a.m. Guests enjoy music all day until 5 p.m.

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