The Bubbas. What else could we call the official People’s Choice Awards for Key West? And in 2014, that’s exactly what the Key West Weekly did. That same year, Tap Johnson offered us the Key West Theater at no cost — and the town threw one hell of a party with all of the proceeds donated to charity.

Five years later and here we are. It’s hard to go anywhere in town without spotting a Bubbas plaque on someone’s wall. And, to date, the event has generated more than $50,000 to local charities such as Wesley House, Samuel’s House and the Bahama Village Music Program.

On Friday, June 8, voters will start to weigh in (for a fifth year) on everything from their favorite food, to businesses, to people in Key West. For two weeks, voters will have the option to write in one nominee in each category. After that period, the top three in each category will placed on a final ballot, with winners being announced July 21 at the Key West Theater.

“Not much has changed since year one,” said Key West Weekly partner Britt Myers (who co-emcees the event with Jason Koler). “Some people think of it as an awards ceremony while others know it as the town’s ultimate roast. I like to compare it to our own version of the Correspondents Dinner — we don’t pull any punches, but we have a great time and it’s always for a great cause.”

Once again, more than120 nominees and more than 60 winners will be named as Key West’s best. And on July 21, attendees at the Key West Theater will experience an awards show that has witnessed our sheriff perform dance moves to “YMCA,” a public defender crawl on all fours, a congressman blush for reasons we can’t reveal in print … and other shenanigans that push the limits of what one can and can’t do to dignitaries on stage.

“Its all about the fun,” said Myers. “Voting is subjective. We all have our favorites and the truth is, Key West is full of places that could be named ‘the best.’ But with the help of our amazing sponsors, Rick Lopez and our friends at Florida Keys Media, we’ve been able to turn a ‘best of’ event into a great cause, which is culminated by an even crazier evening.”

This year marks the first year that voting will take place exclusively online at However, weekly updates will be available exclusively in editions of the Key West Weekly. So we wish all of our friends and neighbors luck — and we hope to see you all on July 21 at the fifth annual Bubbas: Key West People’s Choice Awards.

Editor’s note: The Key West Weekly would like to thank The Key West Theater, The Studios of Key West, all of our sponsors, Pirate Radio and our current radio partners at Florida Keys Media for five great years of Bubbas voting and events.

2017: This Bubbas ceremony will be remembered for a lip sync battle that witnessed a mix of city commissioners, a sheriff and “dancers” — all on the KW Theater stage for five unforgettable performances, including that of Bascom Grooms. The event benefited Wesley House Family Services and photos from the event have now been subpoenaed by Robert Mueller.


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