Fantasy Fest is no doubt the most provocative event in the Florida Keys, Are you up to it?
Have you ever came down for Fantasy Fest? It’s definitely a must see event. In my opinion it’s a week long party for Adults. Some of the costumes could be a little difficult to explain to a small child. It seems to jazz everyone up.
Hotels and Resorts are booked a year in advance for this week long party. Our restaurants are also crowded this week. It’s a good idea to call and make reservations before deciding where you’ll be dining in the evenings.
In 2005 this event had to be canceled because of Hurricane Wilma. I can’t remember it ever being canceled before. They did reschedule it in December and everyone had a great time. It was enjoyed as a kind of release for the after Wilma stress.
The only way to go to Fantasy Fest is in costume. I always make my own. By dressing in costume, you become part of the celebration, not just a spectator. If you need to find that perfect costume check out this place it has Over 10,000 Costumes - Why Shop AnyWhere Else?
Fantasy Fest begins two months before the event. Those folks who desire to be the King or Queen have to work different events in hopes of collecting the most money to benefit Aids Help Inc. All the funds go to the Key West branch.
The Royal Coronation Ball kicks off the ten day event. The funds are counted and the Queen and King are Crowned. It’s a dazzling evening. It’s usually held at the Pier at the Westin Key West Resort on Front Street. This is from 6 until 10 pm.
Goombay is a two day street party. It’s in Bahama Village on Petronia Street. The Caribbean music and island food
can easily have you believing you’re in the islands. The party lasts late into the night.
The Headdress Ball is a colorful competition. The head dressing needs to be theme based to compete. I have a difficult time understanding how some of those tall head dressings are kept from falling off during the competition. It’s at the Atlantic Shores Resort and starts at 9 pm.
One of the favorite events of Fantacy Fest is the Pet Masquerade and Parade. It’s held on the beautiful grounds of the Cast Marina with the ocean as a backdrop. Dogs, cats, birds and other animals compete in several different categories. It’s pretty scary to see how much the animals and owners can look alike. Sometimes the animals get confused as to what is was they were supposed to do. This is fun event with lots of laughter. The show begins at 4:30 pm.
Pretenders in Paradise is an outlandish competition. The costumes range from exotic to glamorous. Some of the costumes are so large they’re intimidating to the audience as they parade thru the crowd towering over them. There’s $10,000 in cash prizes at stake here. This is held at the Pier House Resort, beachside and begins at 8 pm.
The Caribbean Street fair closes Duval Street. Vendors are on the street selling food, drinks, art, crafts, exotic masks and costumes. It’s an all day affair beginning at 2 pm and ending at 10 pm. By the time it wraps up the party has already begun and lots of folks are already in costume all over town. When do they sleep????
The Masquerade March usually begins at 5 pm. Anyone that wants to can join in on this one. You’ll want to be in costume or at least wear a mask. Everybody gathers at the old Cemetery. You march your way thru Old Town, making several hospitality stops to quench your thirst and uplift your spirits, then down to Duval Street and thru the Caribbean Street Fair. You’ll want to make all the noise you can.
Sloppy Joe’s Toga Party is always loud and rowdy. They’ll be lots of white sheets parading around Key West this night. It begins at 10 pm.
Saturday night the parade is the highlight of Fantasy Fest. Captain Morgan Rum sponsor’s the parade. It makes national TV, CNN is always there filming the parade. The crowds have grown each year. Last year more than 80,000 revelers took to the street to watch the parade. It starts around 7 pm each year. Because it’s in the Florida Keys, it’s usually a bit late starting. The very best place for viewing the parade is from the La Concha Hotel on Duval Street.
I think each year there are a larger number of floats. The floats seem to be more elaborate each year as well. Plastic beads of many colors become a currency during Fantasy Fest. I’ve witnessed many a trade going on for the new currency. The people on the floats fling them out to the revelers as they wind there way thru the streets of Key West. Mardi Gras has nothing on us here in the Florida Keys. And we have better weather.
Sunday is for the Kids. It happens at Bayview Park. Loads of fun activities and events for the kids to share in so that no one gets left out in the celebration of Fantasy Fest.
Return from Fantasy Fest to Key West
Return from Fantasy Fest to N The Florida Keys