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Everything you need to know about the Conch Republic. Keep up on local events, nightlife and activities while in Key West.

Join the Herd in Key West's Annual Cow Key Channel Bridge Run

Join the Herd in Key West's Annual Cow Key Channel Bridge Run

April 15th, 2024 | The Gates Key West News

America’s original 0.0K bridge run is back! Key West is the land of the longest parade in the world, the smallest parade in the universe, and perhaps the only Zero K “marathon” in the galaxy.

Held on the 360-foot bridge that connects Key West to the rest of the Keys, the annual Cow Key Channel Bridge Run is a static marathon made for those of us who like to sleep late and not break a sweat. This year’s event will be held Sat. May 4, beginning at Rum Row here at The Gates Hotel for the Bloody Moo-ary party, followed by the noontime run and “Cow Wars: May the 4th be with Moo” After Party and Awards Ceremony at the Sunset Green Event Lawn (just next door to The Gates).

The annual "run" attracts up to 1,000 participants looking to get in on the bemusing bridge-crossing. It’s another zany event that gives Key West its eccentric character, with many “runners” dressing up for the occasion. Participants can expect lots of puns, cow costumes (with prizes for best costume), cowbells, and complimentary rum samples for those 21+ at the finish line.


The inclusive event welcomes the young, the old, and even your animal companions. Begin at Rum Row, our on-site, poolside tavern that channels the days of Prohibition and specializes in rum and rum cocktails. We’ll be slinging discounted Bloody “Moo-arys” and Mimosas from 9 a.m. on. Runners will pick up their packet here too. Event parking is free at The Gates Hotel!

[The Gates Hotel Key West is proudly dog-friendly. See our Pawsome Package to save up to 15% when you bring your favorite four-legged family member]

After morning cocktails, gather at the starting area on the Key West side of the 360-foot long Cow Key Channel Bridge as early as 11 a.m. for the opening ceremony which includes photo-ops, costume judging, and commemorative t-shirt and bib sales and pick-up.


After the run, everyone is invited to the official After Party and Golden Calf Awards at the Sunset Green Event Lawn, located near the finish line at 3824 N. Roosevelt Blvd. Enjoy food and drink specials, music, and more.

Awards include First Place (fastest), Last Place (slowest while maintaining forward motion), the Golden Cow Patty (“crappiest” costume), and a slew of Star Wars-themed awards like the Han and Chewbacca Award (best costume in the “Pets & People” heat) and the Timed Travelers Award (winning relay team).

Cow Key Channel Bridge Run Event Schedule

9 - 11 a.m. Bloody "Moo-ary" Party at Rum Row Bar at The Gates Hotel with deals on Bloody Marys and Mimosas. Packet pick-up and on-site sign up.

11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Move over to the starting line in front of Cow Key Bridge. Radio station hosting live, on-site sign up, swag, and more.

12 p.m. Cow Key Channel Bridge Run begins. Cows away!

1 p.m. Following the race, make your way back to the Sunset Green Lawn at The Gates Hotel for the Golden Calf Awards Ceremony.

1 - 1:30 p.m. Golden Calf Awards Ceremony

1:30 - 3 p.m. After Party at The Gates Hotel Pool and Rum Row bar (pictured below) with sweet drink specials.


Purchase your Key West Cow Key Channel Bridge Run tickets

Registration is $12 and can be done at the event or online at the link above. 100% of the proceeds will go to the Monroe County Sheriff's Animal Farm and The Highgate Charitable Foundation.

Looking for accommodations? Consider staying with us at The Gates! We’re not only the site of the before and after party - we’re also pet-friendly, offer shuttle-service to Old Town, and more. See photos of The Gates and stay up to date with all that the island has to offer with our Key West Travel Blog.

Book your trip to Key West in the Sunshine State. See special offers at The Gates Hotel, recognized by Condé Nast for its stellar accommodations in Key West.