Key Colony Beach Day’s ‘Barracuda Races’ always draw a lively crowd as gamblers bet on the speediest pilchard in the field. KEYS WEEKLY FILE PHOTO

Key Colony Beach’s 67th birthday is slated to be one of its biggest ever.

Sunday, March 3 will mark the return of Key Colony Beach Day, the annual celebration of the tiny Middle Keys city’s incorporation. Festival celebrations are on deck from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the north end of 7th Street in KCB, including a day full of live music with Johnny Live and Four Sheets to the Wind, food, drinks and more than 60 vendors. 

After a successful start in 2023, the “Pooch Promenade” of costumed dogs will open the day’s festivities – registration is from 9 to 9:15 a.m. at the 7th Street dog park, with the costume contest set for 9:30 a.m. A KCB Day parade will kick off at 11 a.m. from 1st Street, continuing to 7th and 8th Streets. 

The Key Colony Inn will offer a $15 breakfast buffet to fill festival goers’ bellies for the morning, while food trucks throughout the festival grounds will take care of the afternoon. And as always, the celebration will include a 50/50 raffle, silent auction and the “World Famous Barracuda Races” for those who think they can pick the fastest pilchard – no, really, you’ve got to check it out.

Admission and parking for the Key Colony Beach Day are always free, and the day is open to the general public. For the first time ever, the 2024 event will partner with Island Trolley Tours to provide transportation throughout the city for festival guests. The trolley will run from after the 11 a.m. parade until 4 p.m., making stops at the East Ocean Drive and 3rd Street intersection, Key Colony Beach Realty, Key Colony Inn, the festival grounds and Sunset Park. Just $1 per adult buys an all-day pass.

Key Colony Beach Day is presented by the Key Colony Beach Community Association, a volunteer group dedicated to organizing activities for the beautification, security, safety and recreational enjoyment of the KCB community.

Alex Rickert
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.