fantasy festival 2017

History Of Fantasy Festival 2017

History Of Fantasy Festival 2017

fantasy festival 2017

Introdution.

Key West has an undeniable “party town” label, but when Fantasy Fest, the annual Mardi Gras-like Halloween mash-up, hits the streets at the end of October, the colorful island truly lives up to its legendary reputation. The Oct. 18-27 festivities are packed with events so wild that Bacchus, the god of wine and merry-making, could have been the party planner. For newbies , a little preparation goes a long way.

Bring your no-worries island attitude and check your inhibitions at mile marker zero. Expect eye-popping sights: swingers, drag queens, nudists, bikers and everyone in between, carousing on the approximately one-mile-long Duval Street. This is not your average party. During Fantasy Fest, the population of the 7.4- square-mile host island swells from 25,000 to more than 75,000 revelers.

fantasy festival 2017

Costumes or body paint.

While the 2013 theme is “Superheroes, Villains and Beyond,” that’s just one of the costumes you’ll need. There are at least 50 official events on the docket, including Captain Tony’s Party in Plaid, Sloppy Joe’s Toga Party, Fogarty’s Red Night and Rum Barrel’s Pirate Bash. Dozens of others pop up, such as the Zombie Bike Ride and Tutu Tuesday. You’ll even need an ensemble for your dog or cat for the Pet Masquerade. Prepare to be dazzled, as many of these events offer cash prizes for the best costumes.

When planning your itinerary, remember that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. The more popular soirees fill up quickly, so plan to arrive early. Plenty of people just hang out on Duval Street and mingle with the overflowing crowd. It’s often hard to tell where one blowout ends and another begins.

fantasy festival 2017

Nudity is not allowed, but less is more, especially since tropical temps in October can reach the 80s. Body paint is de rigueur, and top artists from around the world travel to Fantasy Fest. Do some online research ahead of time to book an appointment with an artist. Word to the social media-wise: wear a mask if you don’t want to be easily identified in revealing photos which pop up on Facebook.

If you intend to wear an elaborate outfit, make certain you can drink, access your wallet and use the restroom without difficulty. And wear comfortable shoes; you’ll be walking everywhere.

there are actually laws.) Bare painted breasts are allowed in the Fantasy Zone, but you’ll need to wear a cover-up elsewhere.

fantasy festival 2017

Parades and parties.

Friday night’s Fantasy Fest locals’ favorite is the Masquerade March. It departs from the Key West Cemetery with a designated parade route that travels in two opposite directions. Stops at guest houses for refreshments during this laid-back procession make it perfect for photo-ops; just ask permission before snapping pictures.

Saturday afternoon, the street fair continues with vendors and live entertainment, and the costumed revelers (and spectators) arrive in full force. By this time, parking goes from challenging to non-existent.

At 7 p.m., it’s time for the main event, the Captain Morgan Fantasy Fest Parade. To skip the crush of the masses on Duval Street, spectators can stake out a place to watch the parade at its starting point on Whitehead Street. If the fray of that locale is too much, most establishments along the parade route have parties, but they do require advance tickets. The bonus of a parade route party is twofold: you’ll have prime seating and access to the scarcest commodity, a bathroom.

fantasy festival 2017

History Of Fantasy Festival 2017

The flamboyant procession begins at the intersection of Southard and Whitehead Streets. More than 50 decorated floats, many towering two stories tall, will have outrageous interpretations of the theme. Floats feature music, light shows and fanciful characters. As the procession moves down Whitehead toward the Gulf of Mexico, it turns onto Front Street. It’s here that the mile-long frenzy travels Duval Street direct to the Atlantic Ocean.

On Sunday morning, brace yourself for the mass exodus north on the Overseas Highway. It’s jammed for 120 miles. Better to depart on Monday when you can enjoy a leisurely brunch at Blue Heaven. As you sip a bloody mary in the historic tropical garden with a throng of Key West chickens roaming amid the tables, try to recall just how you got all those beads.

fantasy festival 2017

Fantasy Fest parking tips.

(History Of Fantasy Festival 2017)

The two municipal garages fill up on a normal day in high season. Instead try the Key West High School for paid parking and a shuttle. Other paid lots pop up, but you will have to hunt them down and pray for good parking karma. At 5 p.m., city buses convert to shuttle routes servicing Fantasy Fest. Don’t even consider parking illegally or in a spot marked for residents. Your car won’t be there when you return.

 

History Of Fantasy Festival 2017

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