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Parrot Head or Parrothead is a commonly used nickname for fans of Jimmy Buffett. "Parakeets" or "Keets" is the term used for younger fans of Jimmy, or children of Parrotheads.
Origin of the term
The term "Parrot Head" was coined in 1985 at a Jimmy Buffett concert at the Timberwolf Amphitheater in Cincinnati, OH. Buffett has said numerous times that he attributes much of his fame to this area. At the show, Jimmy commented about everyone wearing Hawaiian shirts and parrot hats and how they kept coming back to see his shows, just like Deadheads. Timothy B. Schmit, then a member of the Coral Reefer Band, coined the term "Parrot Head" to describe each of those fans.
The first 'Parrothead' club was started by Scott Nickerson in Atlanta in 1989 and has grown into a network of over 200 clubs around the U.S., plus international clubs based in Canada and Australia.
The purpose of the organization is to promote the international network of Parrot Head Chapters as a humanitarian group sharing information and social activities for mutual benefit. The organization engages in activities that are charitable, educational and that promote the general welfare of the community. Parrot Heads in Paradise, Inc. is a Not-For-Profit Corporation, whose purpose is to assist in community and environmental concerns and provide a variety of social activities for people who are interested in the music of Jimmy Buffett and the tropical lifestyle he personifies.
Events range from single act concerts or happy hours to the annual Meeting of the Minds in Key West, Florida, which attracts approximately 3,500 Parrotheads each year. The several day event, sponsored by the Parrot Heads in Paradise includes live music, but also a Toy Drive for the Monroe County Salvation Army, a blood drive, Zonta Walk for Breast Cancer, raffles and other events to raise money for charities. Some regional groups will focus on one or two key charities, while others may switch between several. Environmental causes, cancer research, Alzheimer's research and the March of Dimes all have received large donations from Parrothead organizations. In 2011, there were 239 Parrothead Club chapters in the United States, Canada and Australia, spanning 3 different countries, 47 states and 3 Canadian provinces. The total membership in 2011 was almost 28,000 members. In the ten-year period 2002-2011, member clubs of the international Parrothead organization raised over $26.2M to support charitable organizations, and collectively worked almost 2.9 million hours of community service.