Spring Break Shake
March 3, 2013
Michael & Effie
Spring Break Shake
The annual mass migration of college students hit with full force for two weeks in early March, with thousands of students packing the island to take in the sun, fun, drinking and carousing that make spring break such a timeless ritual. This year, the crowds grew to levels that we have not seen here since the early 90s when MTV used Key West as the location of their spring break Beach House and this was a must see destination for the young revelers.
Lee, Effie & Katie
For two weeks – which happen to coincide with the breaks at UF and FSU, the two largest schools in the state, a mass rush of kids headed down to Smathers Beach all day to party and then packed the likes of Rick’s and Fat Tuesday’s every night to cut loose. Generally it has become a time for most locals to avoid those locations like the plague. Spring Breakers don’t have the best reputation from the vast majority of locals.
Of course, Kathy & I are not what most would consider the average local, so we found ourselves both out downtown and hanging out at Smather’s Beach during Spring Break. Two reasons for this- we have friends who are actually college students home on break and enjoying the fun and we have older friends who just act like college students on a perpetual spring break.
Michael & Effie
Anastasia, Katie, Jillian & Effie
Two of my interns were in town during the break as Lee was down from the University of West Florida in Pensacola and Effie brought a group of friends down from Florida State University in Tallahassee. Being a good “boss” as Effie is fond of calling me, I obliged when she and her friends asked me to come out with them one evening while they were here.
I managed to avoid the traditional spring break spots, though I am sure they all spent a good deal of time there. Instead I accompanied them to Mallory Square to watch the sunset and then later took them to the Porch and later to the 801 bar for a real piece of Key West as we attended the nightly Drag Show. I went home relatively early after the show concluded, I could neither keep up with nor did I want their friends to wonder why they were out with their father. It was fun nonetheless.
Trevor & Rhett
My own friends tend to act like spring breakers on a fairly regular basis and there were a couple of instances this month that illustrated the point. First up was the birthday celebration of our friend Trevor, who is slightly older than the average spring breaker. We joined a group of friends on the Top of the LaConcha Hotel where we caught the sunset then went down to La Tratoria for a wonderful birthday meal. Then we turned spring breaker and headed down to the newest beer joint in town, the fabulous World of Beer that features thousands of beers from around the world to close out the evening.
The last example this month was yet another birthday of someone who may just be considered the perpetual teenager of our island community, our friend DJ Top Jimmy who in true spring break fashion decided to celebrate his birthday in true spring breaker style by having a party on Smather’s Beach. Not only did he have a party, he incorporated the latest viral sensation by asking everyone to join him in filming a Key West version of the “Harlem Shake”
I never would have imagined that Kathy & I would be participating in what is fast becoming annoyingly overkilled on the internet, but there we were along with a crowd of friends, me in a bunny suit and Kathy wearing a Fantasy Fest mask, dancing along as the Harlem Shake ditty played over and over.
It was actually pretty fun, and I think it turned out pretty well, easily as good a many of the viral hake videos that you can find on-line. The entire process was really enjoyable and it turned in to yet another fantastic crazy Key West party. The spring breakers partying just down the beach, learned a thing or two about how to throw a great party.