“Another day in this carnival of souls. Another night settles in as quickly as it goes. ” Unknown
To celebrate the close of another day in Paradise, visitors find their way to Mallory Square located on the waterfront in Key West’s historic Old Town, overlooking the tranquil Gulf of Mexico. It is here where jugglers, psychics, musicians, artists, and food vendors gather to entertain and feed the tourists and have some fun. Get here early to feel the carnival like atmosphere and then stand back, ooh and aah as the sun sets.
Dominique and his Flying House Cats put on an entertaining show while coaxing them through hoops of fire. There have been several “cat men” over the years, but Dominique seems to get the most attention.
Part of the sunset ritual is jockeying for position to get the best views while watching the catamarans sail by.
Mallory Square has a long history as being a center of activity in Key West. Once it was the chosen anchorage of pirates, and has also been the center of the wrecking industry and the assembling point of American forces for four wars.
Many noted figures have enjoyed the view of sunset from Mallory Square over the years. Audubon wrote glowingly of the glorious Key West sunsets while visiting in the early 1800’s, and legend has it that Tennessee Williams initiated the ritual of applauding the sunset at Mallory Square, gin and tonic firmly in hand.
As you can see, the island is a mix of creative and eccentric characters with carefree attitudes. It is just the way the natives like it; definitely a laid back kind of life.