It's summer now, but that season is pretty much endless in the Florida Keys, where the weather — and the mindset — is tropical year-round.
From pirates to powerboats, here are the highlights of fall's events in the Keys and the Conch Republic. Visit fla-keys.com/calendarofevents for the full list.
Florida Keys Birding & Wildlife Festival (Sept. 21-25, Marathon and Lower Keys): A celebration of the natural wonders of Florida wildlife takes place at the peak of the fall birding season. (keysbirdingfest.org; 305-872-0774)
Key Largo Pirates Festival (Oct. 20-23, Key Largo): Three days of pirate fun include a costume contest, walk-the-plank event, rum tasting, booty hunt, pirate show, thieves market, underwater poker and more. (keylargopiratesfest.com; 305-394-3736)
32nd Annual Fantasy Fest (Oct. 21-30, Key West): This outrageous 10-day costuming and masking celebration features flamboyant costume competitions — including one for pets — along with promenades, street fairs and a grand parade. (fantasyfest.net; 305-296-1817)
EcoWeek 2011 (Oct. 31-Nov. 6, Florida Keys): This second annual Keys-wide event is geared toward celebrating healthy living, a healthy planet and peaceable and sustainable communities. (ecoweekfloridakeys.com)
Key West World Championship Powerboat Races (Nov. 6-13, Key West): High-speed powerboats continue Key West's longstanding tradition in a challenge described as the Indianapolis 500 of powerboat racing. (superboat.com; 305-296-6166)
Key West "Bight Before Christmas" Holiday Celebration (Nov. 23-Jan. 1, Key West): This six-week festival adorns Key West's Historic Seaport with lights and holiday trees. (keywestchristmas.org; 305-304-2633)
Pirates in Paradise 2011 (Nov. 25-Dec. 4, Key West): Historic Key West is transformed into pirate strongholds with more than 150 pirate entertainers. (piratesinparadise.com; 305-296-9694)
POSTCARDS FROM FLORIDA