KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Several thousand of singer/songwriter/author Jimmy Buffett’s “Parrot Head” fans are to flock to Key West Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 1-4, for the their annual convention. Titled “Another Trip Around the Sun” after Buffett’s 2004 duet with Martina McBride, the gathering celebrates his music and laidback lifestyle on the island credited with inspiring much of both.

A former Key West resident, Buffett flavored classic songs with mentions of local landmarks including Fausto’s Food Palace and the Blue Heaven Restaurant, and characters like former mayor Captain Tony Tarracino and “pirate” Phil Clark. In the mid-1980s, he founded the original Margaritaville Store in the island city.

Events planned for the Parrot Heads’ 2012 convention include waterfront musical performances, charity auctions and raffles, a street festival and concert, the “TropRock” Music Awards and an oceanfront “Beach Bash” at the Casa Marina Resort, 1500 Reynolds St.

The 2012 convention’s scheduled headliner is renowned Texas singer/songwriter Robert Earl Keen, performing a private Saturday night concert on the Casa Marina’s oceanfront lawn. Other featured performers include regional and Parrot Head favorites Homemade Wine, Howard Livingston & the Mile Marker 24 Band, Jerry Diaz and John Frinzi & Friends.

Most events are open only to registered Parrot Heads, but everyone is welcome at the Margaritaville Street Fest set for 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, at Duval and Fleming streets. Entertainment is to be provided by Jim Morris & the Big Bamboo Band and Michael Armstrong & The Key West Band.

As well as Buffett’s music and lifestyle, Parrot Heads embrace charitable, environmental, educational and humanitarian activities. Since 2002, members of the more than 200 national and international Parrot Head chapters have contributed $26.2 million and nearly 2.9 million volunteer hours to local and national charities.

(Lead photo by beachbumband.com)

Event information: www.phip.com/MOTM.asp
Key West visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
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