Joe Maxey, 68, beats 141 other author impersonators in long-running event that shows importance of being Ernest
A retired banker from Tennessee beat 141 other white-bearded contenders to win the coveted Ernest Hemingway Look-Alike Contest in Key West, Florida, on Saturday, at the eighth attempt.
Joe Maxey, 68, of Cedar Hill triumphed at Sloppy Joes Bar, a hangout of the author when he lived in Key West in the 1930s.
A judging panel of former winners chose Maxey from a vast field which competed in two preliminary rounds and Saturdays finals.
Maxey said he loved Hemingways writing and shared the authors fondness for mojitos and women.
During his Key West years, Hemingway wrote literary classics including For Whom the Bell Tolls and To Have and Have Not.
The contest is a highlight of the annual Hemingway Days festival that honors the authors literary legacy and adventurous lifestyle.
The contest was judged by a panel of former winners including Michael Groover, husband of celebrity chef Paula Deen, who won in 2018. Many contenders wore casual sportsmens garb or thick sweaters, attempting to emulate Hemingways characteristic appearance in his later years.
Crowds of spectators roared approval as they paraded onstage and took turns speaking. Some sang parodies pleading for victory. One trumpeted a melody on a conch shell.
The celebration ends on Sunday, the 120th anniversary of Hemingways birth.