Key West's Fantasy Fest On, But With A Few Changes

The Organizers of Key West's biggest yearly party 'Fantasy Fest' made the announcement on Monday of the cancellation of the annual Fantasy Fest parade as well as the street fair on Friday and Saturday, Oct 29-30.

This statement on Facebook from Festival director and producer Nadene Grossman Orr

"We cannot look into the future, but we can certainly see what is happening in our community today, and the impact that the new variant of COVID-19 has made. We stand by our request that you only attend Fantasy Fest if you are fully vaccinated. We hope that you will abide by our COVID policy and do your part to make the decision to participate based on your own personal wellbeing." Fantasy Fest visitors should be prepared with masks, proof of vaccination or a negative test, as venues may enforce their own rules for entry to their events. 'Key West and the Florida Keys are open for business and our festival partners are looking forward to welcoming you,"

What is Fantasy Fest?

Anyone who has spent any time on Key West’s famous Duval Street, knows it feels like there’s always a party going on, but that wasn’t always the case. Shops up and down Duval, put out the “gone fishing” signs and closed up for months at a time back in the 70's as tourism slowed down.

A group of local business owners started thinking about what they could do to change that by attracting visitors and tempting snowbirds to return sooner for an earlier start of the lucrative winter season. Bill Conkle, Tony Falcone, Joe Liszka and Frank Romano decided a big party might just do the trick, and taking advantage of the popularity of Halloween and the tradition of fanciful costuming locally, in 1979, they threw a parade, which later became Fantasy Fest

Fantasy Fest Key West

Photo: Canva Images

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