a man wearing sunglasses holding a guitar
Singer/songwriter Will Kimbrough, a longtime collaborator of Jimmy Buffett, will perform at Key West’s Buffett memorial on Sept. 1. CONTRIBUTED

 Organizers recently announced that Will Kimbrough, a longtime collaborator of Jimmy Buffett and co-writer of Buffett’s last single release, “Bubbles Up,” will performing on the Friends of Jimmy stage during the first annual “It’s 5 o’clock Key West” Festival on Labor Day weekend in Key West. The free show, scheduled to take place after the Second Line parade on Sept. 1, will be held at the Truman Waterfront Park and will showcase some of the Keys’ best local singer-songwriters, including CW Colt, Zach Miller, Caffeine Carl, Mike Stack and Howard Livingston performing original music and Jimmy Buffett covers.

Kimbrough and Buffett were both natives of Mobile, Alabama. The duo had been collaborating for the last 20 years, contributing 21 songs to the last seven Buffett albums. The soulful and poignant tune “Bubbles Up” is featured on Buffett’s posthumous album, “Equal Strain On All Parts.” Apart from being an honorary member of the Coral Reefer Band, Kimbrough is a Nashville journeyman who frequently tours with Alabama, Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell. He is set to release a new solo album, “For the Life of Me.”

Kimbrough expressed his anticipation to be part of this legacy celebration in Key West, where he and Buffett often spent time creating at Shrimpboat Sound Studio on Lazy Way. “It was, and probably still is, Jimmy Buffett’s world; we just live in it,” Kimbrough said.

Labor Day weekend in Key West is associated with the beloved Buffett’s passing. The music legend died Sept. 1, 2023, prompting locals, led by entrepreneur Paul Menta and community activist Jordan Upchurch, to organize a parade that attracted thousands of grieving fans. In honor of his memory, legacy and cultural impact on the Conch Republic, the inaugural “It’s 5 o’clock Key West” celebration aims to revive that parade, making it even grander while introducing new events and activities for an entire weekend dedicated to Buffett and his devoted fans.

The Second Line memorial parade will start at 5 pm on lower Duval, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2024, and will culminate at the Truman Waterfront Park. Attendees can expect vendor booths, photo opportunities, food, drinks and live music. 

Special souvenir parade lanyards are available for a $30 tax-deductible donation, with all proceeds collected by the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys for distribution to the Bahama Village Music Program and Reef Relief. Guests unable to attend the event in Key West are encouraged to participate virtually through a special link provided with their donation. More information is at its5oclockkeywest.com.

Activities are planned throughout the weekend, including walking tours, a margarita bar crawl, brunches, parties and a variety of live music at different venues across the city. Each day will be themed to a specific Buffett song, offering attendees a range of free and ticketed options. Businesses interested in participating as event venues, sponsors, vendors, or suppliers may contact the organizers at its5oclock@dailyplan-it.net or call Jill Snodgrass, event director, at 305-731-5780.