HOUSTON - A Houston man proved the seventh time is a charm after winning the title of "Papa" in this year's annual Hemingway Look-Alike Contest in Key West on Saturday.
Richard Filip, 71, has been named the runner-up in the contest for the past six years. This year, the real-estate executive decided to distinguish himself from the competition by renting a replica Pilar (Ernest Hemingway's boat) to sail from Texas to Key West.
Filip and his three-man crew left Sunday and arrived on the island Tuesday.
About 160 stocky, white-bearded men resembling Ernest Hemingway have also gathered in Fla. to compete in the island city’s contest that celebrates the author's birthday.
The competition began Thursday evening at Sloppy Joe’s Bar which was frequented by Hemingway when he lived in Key West during the 1930s.
Judged by former winners, the three-night contest is a highlight of the Hemingway Days festival honoring the late author’s literary prowess and colorful lifestyle.
Many competitors wear sportsman’s garb associated with Hemingway. There is also a portion of the competition where contestants dress in a red and white uniform and run amidst wooden bulls as a way to honor Hemingway's fascination with bullfighting in Spain.
Filip's supporters could be seen holding signs which read "Vote Richard Filip for Papa," while wearing orange t-shirts with Filip's face next to Hemingway's and the phrase "Who's your Papa?" on the back.
Other entrants included repeat contender Michael Groover, husband of celebrity chef Paula Deen.
The 2017 look-alike winner was chosen Saturday night with the festival continuing through Sunday.
© 2018 Associated Press