A morning parade down Sombrero Beach Road kicked off one of Marathon’s signature yearly events, as the beach and park played host to the Marathon Rotary Club’s Fourth of July celebration. Out of dozens of cars, floats and official vehicles from government agencies and professional organizations, the Marathon BPW took home the Best Overall award, followed by the Marathon Rotary Club golf cart as the Most Patriotic and Florida Keys Window Tinting’s Most Spirited crew. The afternoon gave way to music and food on the beach, culminating in the best fireworks display in the Keys as the City of Marathon put on its annual Sky Concert once the sun set. The event was a record fundraising year for Rotary, as the club secured $100,000 in donations before its holiday concession sales even began. The six-figure sum represented a 44% increase over prior years.

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Alex Rickert made the perfectly natural career progression from dolphin trainer to newspaper editor in 2021 after freelancing for Keys Weekly while working full time at Dolphin Research Center. A resident of Marathon since 2015, he fell in love with the Florida Keys community by helping multiple organizations and friends rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Irma. An avid runner, actor, and spearfisherman, he spends as much of his time outside of work on or under the sea having civil disagreements with sharks.