Two-day party features swimsuit fashion show and axe throwing

On Saturday and Sunday, April 27-28, Keys Cable and oTHErside Boardsports are hosting a party that includes axe-throwing (!), music, food, fashion, wakeboarding and more. The setting for the second annual Earth Day Fest is the huge 50-acre natural tract on Grassy Key at MM 59. It’s an evolving arts community that features the raw outdoors, cable wakeboarding, a sawmill, nature trails, a garden and so much more.

“This is an Earth-centric event that promotes civil action and sustainable brands,” said Matt Sexton. “There’s stuff for the kids and stuff for adults.” So folks, bring your own cup to partake in the “beer Olympics,” plus sample some craft cocktails and “good for you” food truck offerings.

Sexton and his partners, Shana and Mike Walsh, have lots of special stuff planned including live mural painting by a quartet of mainland street artists. (Remember the incredibly cool pink, skeletonized flamingo that was painted in 2018?) Plus there will be music by Jahfe, Micah, Sol+The Tribu, and local Ken Fairbrother. And there will be pop-up shops selling Earth-friendly gear.

New this year: a friendly competition of axe throwing and a One Wheel course. The axe-throwing trend is sweeping the nation, and this is its first official appearance in the Keys.

“Axe throwing is sort of like target practice and we have two lanes,” said Sexton. He likens it to bowling and said scoring is akin to cricket. The axe throwing is set up next to Bongo’s, the wake park’s almost-complete drinkery and eatery. The Onewheel (a self-balancing electric board, often described as an electric skateboard) course will feature obstacles. “We have a lot of local kids who own these now, plus we have some groups coming down to compete as well.”

On Sunday morning, the day starts with activism. There will be a mangrove cleanup, but volunteers can also pitch in by planting wildflower seedlings along the highway right-of-way to promote natives and deter the use of pesticides.

“We’ve ordered 1,000,” Sexton said. “That’s in addition to the 1,200 we’ve already planted ourselves.”

“This is our second annual Earth Day Fest , and we’re going all in,” said Shana Walsh. “There are going to be so many activities in one spot with this common theme of sustainability, and doing good things for the Earth.”

The party runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more details, visit or check them out on Instagram @othersideboardsports.

SCHEDULE @ oTHErside Adventure Park, MM 59

Saturday, April 27

  • 10 a.m. open
  • 4 p.m. Keys Cable Hall of Fame Wake Show
  • 5:30 p.m. Eco Fashion Show
  • 7 p.m. Jahfe

Sunday, April 28

  • 9 to 11 a.m.: Mangrove clean up and wildflower planting
  • 1 p.m.: Onewheel battle
  • 3 p.m.: Axe-throwing Tournament
Sara Matthis
Sara Matthis
Sara Matthis thinks community journalism is important, but not serious; likes weird and wonderful children (she has two); and occasionally tortures herself with sprint-distance triathlons, but only if she has a good chance of beating her sister.

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