Habitat For Insanity float in Key West

Habitat For Insanity!

by Shayne Benowitz

The fact that it’s taken me all week long to get my Key West Fantasy Fest wrap-up posted has to mean it was a great party—right?! In fact, it was one for the record books, but aren’t they all? Each and every year is distinct, whether it’s the theme, a great party, great party companions, or an exceptional moment to remember forever.

Red Party Fury members: Shelly, Shayne, Lisa, Mary and Jayson

Red Party Fury Girls: Shelly, Shayne, Lisa, Mary… oh yeah, and Jayson!

For me, there was a definite contrast between this year’s Habitat For Insanity and last year’s Villains, Vixens, and Vampires. The key word being: moderation. It’s so easy to get swept up in the mayhem and feel like you have to go to every single party. This year, however, I had to pace myself.

Women dressed as 7-pack conquering the Masquerade March in Key West

7-pack conquering the Masquerade March.

After a stellar Goombay celebration with my favorite party pal, my little sister, in town, I relaxed Monday and Tuesday night. Wednesday, however, I couldn’t miss the Red Party at Fogarty’s. Always a classic! Everyone was there donning their red get-ups. Fogarty’s blocked off Caroline Street to set up a stage for a band to perform. After a while, I ping-ponged all over lower Duval Street with fellow Fury girls Lisa & Mary.

Women dressed as Zebra, Gaga, and Cheetah

Zebra, Gaga, Cheetah.

Thursday, I met up with Stephen and headed to Dante’s for an absolutely jam-packed pool party. I had high hopes of rockin’ toga night dressed as a jock, but I had to get some shuteye to prepare for the weekend ahead!

People dreessed as the cast of Batman

Batman Forever.

Friday was the local’s Masquerade March, which is always a blast. This was the first year I actually coordinated a costume with a group. We rocked duct-tape tube dresses as a 7-pack of Coors Light—bonus beer for the holiday! It was a great time. There was a group dressed in fur as cavemen/barbarians that I particularly liked, as well as a group of girls donning peacock feathers. People painted as Pandorans a la Avatar was definitely a recurring theme this year.

People dressed as sailors in Key West

What do you do with a drunken sailor?

Then, the big parade Saturday night! Of course, I headed over to Stephen and JB’s party. I decided to go all out and rock a Lady Gaga getup, which was so much fun! Captain Scotty and his entourage were all Batman themed. Lindy and her man Brian were hilarious as drunken sailors. Annabelle and her girlies were like an animal-themed burlesque troupe in corsets.

Fury Girl's Prize for Best Float in Key West

Fury Girl’s Prize for Best Float!

The parade was entertaining, and I was eager to see some floats keeping in the “Insanity” theme. It didn’t disappoint with psych wards, nut houses, and so on. My favorite, however, was a wild pre-historic cage made of bones and skulls with fur-clad partiers wrestling in a white mud pit. Such a spectacle!

Every year, I’m never sure if I’m up for yet another Fantasy Fest, and every year, I love it just a little bit more! Rest up, October 2011 is right around the corner!

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Last Updated 10/29/2021