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Unrestricted Fantasy Fest returns to Key West today

(KEY WEST, FLA) — Fantasy Fest, which draws some 60,000 spectators, begins today in Key West. The Conch Republic is thrilled to bring back a full-scale 10-day slate of events for the first time since the COVID pandemic hit in 2019. Steve Robbins, the festival’s board chairperson

“Due to the COVID pandemic, this will be the first full Fantasy Fest since 2019,” said Steve Robbins, the festival’s board chairperson. “So of course we’re very excited, and I know that our guests and staff are excited about getting back to the real Fantasy Fest.”

Event standouts include the weekend’s Goombay street party, a Zombie Bike Ride, a costume contest for pets, the exotic Headdress Ball and a high-spirited masquerade march.
Fantasy Fest started 40 years-ago and is the Florida Keys’ biggest event, raking in $40 million for the island chain economy.

Saturday night, Oct. 29, Fantasy Fest’s highlight parade is to travel through the island’s historic downtown as crowds applaud its elaborately costumed marching groups, street dancers and lavishly decorated motorized floats.

Fantasy Fest has grown into the Florida Keys’ biggest event, accounting for some $40 million in annual economic impact to the island chain.

“Having a full-fledged Fantasy Fest supports many not-for-profit organizations,” Robbins said. “Again, it’s certainly a boost to our hospitality industry; it’s something they’ve been looking for after coming off September, our traditional slower periods.”