New Year’s Eve in Key West

Who needs New York’s Ball Drop or Atlanta’s Peach Drop when you have a drag queen in an eight-foot chicken wire, paper mache and plywood high-heeled red shoe?

New Year’s Eve in Key West retains the vivacious entertainment seen all summer long. Started in 1996, the world famous New Year’s Eve Shoe Drop at the Bourbon St. Pub on Duval Street draws thousands of tourist spectators each year.

With the weather warm and dry, spectators cluster on the main street to watch the infamous drag queen Gary “Sushi” Marion who has taken center stage…or shoe…to descend from the Bourbon rooftop with each final minute of the year. For 17 years, Marion has customized dresses and wigs each year to transform into Sushi - a two-hour process and months of preparation for the hour-long event.

As the years have progressed, the show has drawn bigger media attention and a much deserved better-constructed shoe. This community favorite is a must see for travelers in Key West during the holidays.

Other New Year’s Eve Events:

Sloppy Joe’s Annual Dropping of the Conch Shell

The “Queen Conch” lowers from the rooftop of Sloppy Joe’s to ring in the New Year with energetic crowds dancing and catching beads until the strike of midnight.

New Year’s Eve Madness at Schooner Wharf Bar

This popular waterfront celebration features “The Lowering of the Pirate Wench” hoisted up to the towering mast of America 2.0, with live music and costumes.