Mallory Square is the center of all activities in Key West. It won’t take you too long to realize that sunset is a celebration in Key West … celebrated every night. In the 1800’s Commodore Porter used Mallory Square as the base for anti-pirate campaigns. For four wars, Mallory Square was the assembling point for American forces.
Mr. Audubon wrote glowing reports of the glorious sunsets seen from Mallory Square and legend says Tennessee Williams started the tradition of celebrating sunset. He applauded it every night, gin and tonic in hand.
During the late 1960’s the band of hippies living in the Fogarty Mansion would descend upon Mallory Square to watch Atlantis arise mythically out of the clouds at sunset set; usually high.
In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s the dock was being renovated to accommodate cruise ships. Peddlers and crafters showed up every day, even with signs posted stating “no peddling on the pier”. The City of Key West addressed the issue with the newly formed Key West Cultural Preservation Society, Inc in 1984. This organization created the guidelines for participation in the Sunset Celebration and leased the property from the City of Key West. The Key West Cultural Preservation Society ensures the artistic integrity of the celebration.
Every evening, one hour (or so) before sunset the “carnival” begins. Tightrope walkers, CatMan and crafters show up to entertain the crowd and celebrate and applaud sunset. Make it this a must see stop on your next trip. Grab a drink and be ready to be entertained!!