OK, just above, I wrote a comment about Mallory Square being more than just about the "sunset celebration". And while that's all true, the event that gets everything pumping in the area is the daily sunset celebration.
I figured we'd need to get there early to get a nice seat, but the truth is that it seems to be a late-arriving crowd for sunset. I'd say that if you show up an hour ahead of sunset, you'll have you pick of places to relax and enjoy.
Basically, this is all one big street party. There are little bar stands selling daiquiris and beers, and bottled waters. You can, SURPRISE!, buy a t-shirt or two, too. Costume jewelry, incense, paraphenalia of "questionable legality"...it's all there. There are folk singers, dancers, mimes, clowns, all sorts of street performers and just plain old buskers, too.
We ended up hanging around a fellow who specialized in Houdini-esque escape stunts. He'd wrap himself in chains, hand upside down and such. All in the course of his little show, he had a great little Vegas stand-up comedy routine going too, and made great use of audience participation. At the end, as do most of the street performers, they passed the hat. Bottom line, we paid the guy $5 and got more than our money's worth in laughs alone.
...and the sunset....
Well, we've done sunset celebrations all over the world, and they're always memorable. But, Mallory Square was worth the time we spent waiting it out. And when ol' sol finally disappeared beneath the horizon, we were all glad to feel things cool off just a bit.
And remember, when the sunset celebration ends each day, that means the North Duval Street party celebration is about to kick into a higher gear.
Sunset at Mallory square is THE thing to do on Key West. You typically start your evening about 2 hours before sunset. Stroll through the square take in all the street performers, bands and sites. Enjoy the sunset have some dinner and then you begin the Duval Kraal. Also known as the crawl, which is what you will be doing if you make it to even a few of the bars and clubs on Duval Street.
This is a people scene. If you are shy, uncomfortable in crowds or the unusual this is not the place for you. If however you like to peple watch this is one of the best places in the world to do it.
As it gets late in the day take Duvall to Mallory Square for a fun Key West ritual & entertaining spectacle of performers, tasty food vendors and music....
Sunsets in Key West are pretty spectacular, thus, they celebrate them EVERY evening down at Mallory Square.
You'll love watching the fiery sun melt into the ocean with friends or a loved one.
Grab some freshmade guacamole or lemonade while there.
Enjoy the various performers peddling for a couple bucks from the lively crowd.
At long last, I've finally been to Mallory Square to watch the sunset. In all the times I've come to Key West and in the days when I lived here, I never bothered to go and see this spectacle. I picked a day when I thought there would be nice clouds for a pretty sunset (but no green flash of course).
Now I can say that I've done it.
Like I said, don't miss the sunset on Mallory Square. Everybody comes in the evening to Mallory Square to watch the sunset. There are lots of people and lots of entertainers. Its fun to watch them. Take your favourite drink, sit down, make sure that you have your camera ready and than watch the sun goes down. It's a nice way to begin your evening.
The Catman puts on shows in the square every night that he's in the Keys. He'll do a show before sunset, right after sunset, and sometimes a mini show after that.
He's a Key West Original and has been doing this for quite some time. He is eccentric to the point of being borderline crazy and it's awesome!
The Cats are trained to jump through hoops. Hoops with Paper over them, and hoops with fire. These are lions, they are ordinary house cats and the show is awesome. They do balance beam acts and catch tossed food with their hands.
I would make the trip to Key West solely to see the Catman. I haven't had a good time like that since I was a kid!
a time honored tradition when in key west is to go to mallory square downtown and celebrate the sunset. at this daily sunset celebration you will see street performers and other interesting key west locals. it is legal to bring a drink to mallory square as long as it is in a plastic container. a custom that is unique to key west.
Go where every one goes at sunset: Mallory Square. If you don't buy anything it's free. Go watch the performers, acrobats, barefoot glass walking, fire eating, sword swallowing, guitar players, the one man band, and palm readers, you get the idea. It is a little carnival of it's own, all for free.
You will need to get there around 5:30 pm to get a good spot – especially on days when a cruise ship or 2 is parked in front of the Hilton. Expect tacky side shows (i.e. trained housecats jumping through hoops of fire) and local vendors. I got a wonderful painted tank top from a woman at the very end of the pier. It will be crowded but the sunsets are spectacular. We viewed the sun going down almost every night we were in Key West!
Every evening at sunset sveral unusual entertainers come out to the docks of Mallory Square and perform such talents as tightrope walking, cat juggling and flaming sword swallowing. This Sunset Celebration is a must see experience that attracts tons of tourists and locals alike. Be sure you plan your dinner schedule accordingly so that you don't miss the fun. Also don't forget to leave a tip for the ones you enjoy as these guys really do some dangerous things for your entertainment.
You've got to enjoy a classic Key West sunset, but not necessarily at Mallory Square or the Hilton. If you must go to Mallory Square, don't miss the Cuban band "Caribe." They play every night at El Meson de Pepe, right next to Mallory Square amid the throngs of tourists. Their music is fantastic. The drink prices are a rip-off, but what can you do. For an alternative, stop by the Galleon Resort's Tiki Bar (Front Street). If you're in KW in the wintertime, go to Smathers Beach, sometimes the seaweed is a drag, but it's a great spot, so is Higgs Beach. One thing to remember, just because the sun is no longer visible, the best colors sometimes come after the sun is gone. What's your hurry?
There's nothing quite like watching a sunset, especially when the sky burns a deep orange all around and black sailboats pass quietly in front of the dipping sun. Despite all the people, a truly romantic experience.
The street performers in Key West are known world-wide. There are jugglers, mimes, living statues, psychics, you name it, at Mallory Square Dock every night. The performances begin 90 minutes before sunset. There are also craft vendors and food carts. Watch the one-of-a-kind performances and then view the beautiful sunset Key West is famous for. Mallory Square at night is a big part of Key West's culture.
Every night people gather at Mallory Square for the sunset celebration, do not miss it. Mallory Square is filled with live entertainment before the celebration. If you can get to the Sunset Bar and Grill located at Mallory Square before the crowd, you will get your own private view of the sunset and a drink. This is a nightly celebration to say goodnight to the sun.
Sunset Celebration at Mallory Pier
Personally, I prefer watching the sunset from the Pier House, but everyone should experience Mallory Pier once . . . carnival atmosphere with all kinds of unusual acts . . . One of my favorites is Jeep Caillouet and his golden retriever, Mo.