KEY WEST, Florida (AP) ― A white-bearded, 64-year-old Florida man has won the annual Ernest Hemingway look-alike competition at a Florida Keys bar once frequented by the author.
Matt Gineo of Jensen Beach, dressed in a wool fisherman’s sweater to emulate photographer Yousuf Karsh’s famous portrait of Hemingway, bested 120 other entrants after an unprecedented tie-breaker vote. It was Gineo’s 12th try.
In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Matt Gineo eyes a resident cat as he poses at the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum Sunday in Key West, Florida. (AP-Yonhap News)
“This was something that I had in my heart to do, but I didn’t know how many years it would take,” Gineo said.
Gineo, a biomedical engineer, said he shares Hemingway’s fondness for sport fishing and writing.
Saturday night’s “Papa” Hemingway Look-Alike Contest at Sloppy Joe’s Bar is a highlight of Key West’s annual Hemingway Days.
Two dozen finalists garbed in sportsmen’s attire, culled from 121 contestants, were judged by past winners.
Other finalists included Arne Inge-Mathisen of Gjettum, Norway, who wore a black armband to commemorate the victims of Friday’s attacks on Norway’s government headquarters and a youth retreat.
The annual Hemingway Days festival, which ended Sunday, honors the legacy of the writer, who lived here in the 1930s.
The six-day festival included a marlin tournament, a “running of the bulls” spoof and a short story contest won by Darci Bysouth of Edinburgh, Scotland.