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- 07 October 2014 /
KEY WEST, Florida Keys — In the 1970s internationally acclaimed entertainer Jimmy Buffett wrote "I Have Found Me a Home" about Key West, describing riding his old red bike to "the bars and the beaches of my town." Wednesday through Sunday, Oct. 29-Nov. 2, the island is to host several thousand of the entertainer's Parrot Head fans for their 23rd annual Meeting of the Minds convention.
Titled "Havana Daydreamin'" after Buffett's acclaimed 1976 album, the gathering celebrates his music and laidback lifestyle on the island credited with inspiring much of both.
A former Key West resident, Buffett flavored his classic songs with mentions of local landmarks including Fausto's Food Palace and the Blue Heaven Restaurant, and characters like former mayor Captain Tony Tarracino and "pirate" Phil Clark. In the mid-1980s, he founded the original Margaritaville Store in the island city.
Events planned for the Parrot Heads' 2014 convention include waterfront musical performances, charity events and raffles, and a lively street festival and concert. The anticipated highlight is a series of beachside performances by Buffett's Coral Reefer Band members and musical friends at the Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, located at 1500 Reynolds St. on the Atlantic Ocean.
The revelry Friday, Oct. 31, is to include a 7 p.m. "Beachside Album Hour" featuring Comanche Sky Park with original Coral Reefer band members, and a 9:45 p.m. exclusive performance by Reefer Peter Mayer with the Peter Mayer Group.
Saturday's "Reefer madness" includes performances by band member Mac MacAnally and veteran Buffett cohorts Keith Sykes and Marshall Chapman. The entertainment extravaganza is to culminate in a showcase by keyboard master Michael Utley and steel drum wizard Robert Greenidge, both of them longtime Reefers who also perform as Club Trini, with an encore by the entire Coral Reefer Band. A meet-and-greet event is to follow.
Other featured performers include regional and Parrot Head favorites such as the Will Kimbrough Band, Tropical Soul and John Frinzi & Friends.
While most events are open only to registered Parrot Heads, the public is welcome at the Margaritaville Street Fest set for 1 to 5:30 p.m. Friday at Duval and Fleming streets. Entertainment is to be provided by Jim Morris & the Big Bamboo Band and Howard Livingston & the Mile Marker 24 Band.
As well as Buffett's music and lifestyle, Parrot Heads embrace charitable, environmental, educational and humanitarian activities. Since 2002, members of the more than 200 national and international Parrot Head chapters have contributed $33.9 million and nearly 3.2 million volunteer hours to local and national charities.
Event information: phip.com/MOTM.asp
Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
Posted On: October 2, 2014