Fantasy Fest Returns to Key West After the Closing of Covid

Friday marks the return of Fantasy Fest to Key West, Florida, with a full schedule of events for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began more than two years ago.

The annual 10-day celebration concludes on October 30.

This will be the first full Fantasy Fest since 2019 because of the COVID pandemic, stated Fantasy Fest board chair Steve Robbins. “Therefore, I am confident that our guests and staff are eager to return to the original Fantasy Fest.”

The festival will feature dozens of themed events, including a midnight parade with floats and lavishly costumed marching groups on October 29. Participants are urged to take costume inspiration from the festival’s theme, “Cult Classics & Cartoon Chaos,” depicting characters inspired by their favorite cartoons and cult-loved television or film productions.

Following a campaign that gives royalty to the two persons who raise the most funds for AH Monroe, a Keys-based organization that provides care, housing, and education for HIV sufferers, the festivities begin on Friday with a Royal Coronation Ball to crown the festival king and queen.

Fantasy Fest Returns to Key West After the Closing of Covid

This weekend, Key West celebrates its Caribbean heritage with a Goombay street dance in historic Bahama Village. On Sunday, thousands of residents dressed as zombies will join in the Zombie Bike Ride.

Other highlights include a Pet Masquerade on Wednesday, a toga party on Thursday night at Sloppy Joe’s Bar, a watering hole frequented by Ernest Hemingway, a Masquerade March the following Friday, and a showy Headdress Ball.

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Fantasy Fest, which began in 1979 as a strategy to increase visitor profits during the generally slow fall season, has an estimated $40 million economic impact, according to Keys tourism officials.

Robbins stated that having a full-fledged Fantasy Fest benefits numerous non-profit organizations. However, this is a boon for our hospitality business.

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