Thousands of women were expected in Key West Tuesday through Sunday, Sept. 3-8, for the 27th annual Womenfest, and were present for the extra delight of celebrating 64-year-old Diane Nyad's successful 103-mile swim from Cuba to Key West, completed Monday. A parade in Nyad's honor rolled through downtown Key West Sept. 3.
At the acclaimed festival, singles, couples and groups of women can experience the all-welcoming diversity and attractions that have helped make Key West an internationally acclaimed LGBT vacation spot.
The festival's opening party was Tuesday, Sept. 3, at Aqua Nightclub, where "Aqua Idol," the local version of television's iconic "American Idol" premiered, as well as a drag show and dance party.
Subsequent events include afternoon poolside comedy and games at Lighthouse Court Hotel, 902 Whitehead St., lively pool parties and happy hours with live entertainment at Pearl's Key West, 525 United St., kayaking and paddleboard eco-tours, snorkeling and dolphin watching cruises, all-day watersports adventures, musical and comedy performances, offbeat art classes and late-night dance parties at Key West emporiums.
Entertainment highlights include a comedy showcase Friday, Sept. 6, starring award-winning lesbian comedian Suzanne Westenhoefer at the San Carlos Institute, 516 Duval St. Acclaimed as the first openly gay comedian to appear on television, she has performed on "The Late Show with David Letterman" and HBO, and tours around the U.S. Doors open at 8 p.m. and Westenhoefer's show begins at 8:30 p.m.
Other performers include comedians Christine O'Leary and Key West's "Postal" Wendy Carlisle, high-energy live music by Jennifer Corday and Sister Funk, "The Girly-Burly Burlesque Show" and a Key West rooster-painting class with renowned local artist Rick Worth.
Additional festival standouts include a poker challenge, "speed meeting" at Pearl's, golfing, a dinner cruise with rocking entertainment and a trolley tour spotlighting Key West's LGBT history and landmarks.
Event schedules, information and tickets are available at Womenfest headquarters, open daily at the Key West Business Guild's Gay Key West Visitor Center, 513 Truman Ave.
Event information: www.womenfest.com
Key West visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/keywest, www.gaykeywestfl.com or 1-800-LAST-KEY
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