Fantasy Fest is the party of all parties. It’s an adult costume party, much like Mardi Gras in New Orleans, that is held over a ten-day period in the streets and on private properties of Key West, Florida. And the best part is the stroll up and down Duval Street the last couple of hours before the big parade starts. Lots of body painters are busy doing a fine job painting on costumes in lieu of clothing. Thousands of strings of beads are traded for an innocent peek at flesh, and plenty of pictures are taken. The street is packed with people during Fantasy Fest, leaving little elbow room.
What is Fantasy Fest?
Generally held the last week in October ~ For ten fun-filled days and nights Key West becomes the center of the universe. Folks come from all corners of the globe to experience this one-of-a-kind event where you can act out your fantasies and let your imagination take you to new places. Bring a costume or get one at a local shop. Or don’t bother with clothing at all…just hire a body painter to paint one one! Believe it or not, you won’t be the most exposed person in town, no matter how risque you think you’re being. The costumes are outrageous, some beautiful, some embarrassing, some homemade, some hilarious and all of them tons of fun. There’s also the Masquerade March, where everybody gets to join in the parade. Start out at the Key West Cemeteryand wind your way to Duval Street, where bars will hand you drinks to keep the party going. Again, the costumes are featured so let your imagination run wild and have a ball.
What Happen at Fantasy Fest?
All week long there are events like Homemade Bikini Contest where first prize is thousands of dollars. There are silly fun events like the Coronation Ball, which happens at the beginning of the week so the King and Queen and reign all week long. Another favorite constest is the Celebrity Lookalike Contest where contestants enter the free contest dressed as famous celebrity of their choice. It’s free admission, too. Fantasy Fest also starts off with Goombay, street fair celebrating Caribbean culture. Look for great food at Goombay and lots of action in the street festival like live music and people everywhere. It’s free and great for kids. Go to Petronia Street in Bahama Village, near Old Town.
There are theme parties all over town. There’s one party where you wear red. It’s called the Red Party. There’s another party where you wear plaid. It’s called the Plaid Party. Get the picture? It’s still about the costumes. Maybe that’s because people don’t want to get recognized. Maybe it’s because everyone enjoys playing out a fantasy. When was the last time most adults got to dress up and behave any way they liked? When was the last time you got to take on a new personality for a few nights? It’s all about costumes and fantasy, hence Fantasy Fest. One of the best parties is the Lingerie Party, where costumes are easy and extravagant. It’s one costume you can probably wear again after Fantasy Fest is long over!
Are there any Family Events at Fantasy Fest?
For families, well, there’s the Pet Parade, where owners and dogs dress up together and parade down the street. This is loads of fun because people get super imaginative with costumes for Spot or Kitty. It’s silly and absurd and totally what Fantasy Fest is all about.
Even homes are part of the costuming theme, with the Fantasy Facade Competition. There are cash prizes for the best-decorated home front in Key West.
Fantasy Fest Photos