Key West crowns winner of its 2022 Ernest Hemingway lookalike contest

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Bushy-bearded lawyer Jon Auvil has been named the winner of the 2022 edition of Key West's Ernest Hemingway lookalike competition.

The Florida island, where the legendary author lived and wrote for most of the 1930s, celebrates his legacy each year with its Hemingway Days event, which concluded on Sunday.

Competing for his eighth time in the contest, the 65-year-old real estate attorney from Dade City triumphed over 124 other entrants following two preliminary rounds and Saturday night's finals.

"I think I feel most like Hemingway because of his relationship with his friends, his wife and his children," said Auvil after his victory.

Outlining his admiration for the writer, Auvil added: "Of course, every man wants to write like Hemingway. He represents a lot - romance, masculinity, sports, love of the sea, love of a woman, love of children... life."

In addition to his hirsute appearance, Auvil shares other traits with the For Whom the Bell Tolls author, including a love of fishing. He has even tried his hand at writing fiction and a bit of nonfiction.

Before crowning the winner, crowds of spectators cheered enthusiastically for their favourites as the entrants were judged by past winners at Sloppy Joe's Bar, the Key West saloon where Hemingway and his cohorts frequently gathered.

Although entries could take on any guise from Hemingway's life, most competitors sought to emulate his later-years "Papa" persona, donning full beards and sportsman's attire.

Key West's Hemingway Days events salute the vigorous lifestyle and literary legacy of the Nobel Prize-winning author, who wrote enduring classics including For Whom the Bell Tolls and To Have and Have Not while living in Key West.

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