Key West’s annual 10-day costuming celebration, Fantasy Fest is back in full force October 21-30.
Started in 1979 by a group of Key West locals, the party was created to bring visitors to the island in what was a typically quiet season. Since then Fantasy Fest has grown enormously and now draws tens of thousands to participate, with 70,000 turning out for the annual parade.
Last year, many of the events were canceled, but the popular LGBTQ+ destination plans to return to a full schedule in 2022. For example, the Annual Headdress Ball was postponed four times in the last two years, before finally going ahead early this year. The organizers are determined that the 39th event will return to its traditional timing. Events at Key West’s Fantasy Fest range from the family-friendly Goombay Festival, to the adults-only Kink Party (for the 24th year it will offer BDSM stations, fetish rooms, bondage, and more).
This year’s theme is Cult Classics and Carton Chaos which invites you to be inspired by any film or show with a cult following (such as Rocky Horror Picture Show — which is also being performed live on stage during the fest) or any cartoon, comic book, or animated show (like Steven Universe, Lumberjanes, or Q-Force).
Vital events include the Heroes and Villians Run/Walk, Pirate ship revelry, the annual underwear party, She-Avengers Stripfinity Wars: A Burlesque Parody, a pet costume party, Dante's 15th Annual Halos & Horns Pool Party, the 21st Annual Living Art Expo, and a couples-only kink party.