There’s something about October in Key West. The temperature in the mornings and evenings have cooled off, making for pleasant bike rides to work and perfect weather to grab dinner outside. There’s also a certain electric friskiness in the air. After a long hot summer, the island is stirring with excitement over the biggest party of the year. Yes, I’m talking about Fantasy Fest.
The talk around town is costume ideas and party plans, and preliminary trips to Fairvilla are already happening for those who plan ahead. And here’s a fun fact, the only day out of the year that Fury closes early is Saturday night for the parade–not Christmas, not Thanksgiving, but Fantasy Fest!
This year the party descends on Key West starting Friday October 18 with Goombay Festival in Bahama Village and then it picks up steam throughout the week leading up to the parade Saturday October 26, which basically translates to 10 days of craziness.
If you’ve never been before, it’s a party in the streets and at local bars, and anything goes! Think, body paint, skimpy costumes, and general debauchery. For those who’ve experienced before, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to outdo yourself from last year. It’s a test of endurance for anyone who loves to party!
This year’s theme is Super Heroes, Villains, & Beyond, which should leave plenty of opportunity for fun costumes. It’s impossible to hit all the parties, but one can try. As a Fantasy Fest veteran, here are my picks for parties to swing by.
Friday, October 18 to Sunday October 20
Definitely hit up Goombay Festival on Petronia Street at least one day during the festivities as a warm up for the week ahead.
Tuesday October 22
TuTu Tuesday has become a Fantasy Fest tradition now in its fifth year. It’s a super fun local’s party. Just don a tutu or come up with a crazy tutu costume and join the fun!
Wednesday, October 23
Red Party at Fogarty’s, it’s a classic and the Fury crew can’t pass it up. Join the masses on Fogarty’s giant patio on Caroline Street and prepare to party in red.
Thursday, October 24
The Porch is throwing their second annual Nerds in Paradise party Thursday night. Get your geek on and have fun with this eclectic local crowd.
Friday, October 25
The Walking Parade is a great way to get in on the action. Don your craziest costume and join the crowd parading through town with the final destination Duval Street. Where else?
It all caps off Saturday night with the Captain Morgans Fantasy Fest Parade. You’ve got two choices here. Find a great perch to watch it from or find out how you can be on a float. Both options are super fun.
Enjoy! Be safe! And don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!