Friday, March 28, 2008

Kegs n' Eggs

The cultural heritage of the Florida Keys is unique, and perhaps nothing underscores that quite as well as the Big Pine Key traditional Easter/Vernal Equinox celebration known as Kegs n' Eggs. The festivities begin on Saturday evening with egg decorating around a nice campfire. Many eggs picture neptunian images of turtles, fish, and dolphins, others have nautical themes of boats and pirates, and others convey important feelings, such as "Jesus loves ducks" and "Godzilla loves Jesus".

The eggs are carefully saved for the following day, which first begins with a wonderful potluck banquet served under the hot and obnoxiously bright sun. Fortunately, local medicinal lore includes a cure for such ailments; a beverage commonly known as the Mimosa. From there, boats (in various degrees of serviceability and seaworthiness, much like their passengers) are loaded up for an awesome cruise to the fabled Picnic Island.

Once at Picnic island, the main goal is to improve the buoyancy of the boats via unloading the cargo . To keep the weather nice, it is considered good luck to quaff Dark & Stormy's, a blend of dark rum and spicy ginger beer. Thence proceeds the celebrations of Dodge This, and the Airing of Joyfulness. Cute girls then begin lobbing decorated eggs into the ocean and the Games Meister calls for the hunt to begin! Snorkleing for eggs is as fun as it sounds, and certainly a time to remember.

Near Picnic island is small Bird island, which has a small colony of roosting juvenile Magnificent Frigate Birds. We also saw the remains of a dead sea turtle and some By-the-Wind Sailors floating past on the currents (which come in left and right handed forms). Festivities officially ended at sunset, but I needed to wait for our Zodiac and kayaker to come into dock, which took much longer than expected. We had our final celebration at Looe Key's Tiki bar, to close out Easter at Big Pine.

1 comment:

Matt said...

No chocolate Easter bunnies???