The sparkle, mystery, and thrill of Fantasy Fest attracts over 75,000 visitors each year, and it’s easy to see why.
Back in 1979, the inaugural Fantasy Fest parade was held in Key West. The celebration was inspired by the costumes and pageantry of Halloween, but Fantasy Fest took both to the next level. Since then, the festivities have grown into almost ten days of parties, events, social happenings, and adult fun—a lot of which help raise funds for local organizations. The sparkle, mystery, and thrill of Fantasy Fest attracts over 75,000 visitors each year, and it’s easy to see why. During Fantasy Fest, you’ll never run out of things to do. Here’s your guide to the highlights of the 2021 celebration, which runs from October 22-31.
A lot is scheduled for October 23rd, including That Arena Rock Concert and the Day of the Dead Dance Party. But the absolute must-see event is the 6th annual Smallest Parade in the Universe competition. Starting at 7 pm, members of the community will be invited to show off their homemade floats during this absolutely outstanding and hilarious parade. Being Key West, the floats are normally filled with a hefty dose of campy humor, creating a true spectacle. Proceeds from the parade benefit MARC, a facility that helps adults with developmental disabilities.
October 25th is another date that’s loaded with fun things to do. The Heroes & Villains 5K Run/Walk invites people of all ages to dress up as their favorite hero (or villain). Be sure to wash your costume after the run, because they can get reused later in the night at the famous Sloppy Joe’s bar, which will be hosting Comic Book Cape-Ers. Dance the night away dressed up as your favorite comic book characters and enjoy a unique night at one of the most iconic bars in the country.
But most notable on the 25th will be the Kinky Carnival, now in its 24th year. The erotic celebration will be filled with great drinks, Interactive BDSM stations, fetish rooms, bondage, and more. The party is taking place at First Flight and has a strict “No Fetish Costume, No Entry” policy.
On the 26th, take part in the fight against breast cancer at Hank’s Hair of the Dog Saloon for the ‘Rock the Tatas Contest‘. It’s a great opportunity to “let the girls out” with body painting, prizes, and a live DJ. For fans of Harry Potter, a visit to the theater is a must for Harriet Potter and the Enchanted Tassle, a burlesque parody. According to the official description, “this sexy and saucy show is sure to have you on the edge of your Nimbus 2000 as you join Auntie Harriett Potter on a salacious search for a magical, missing tassel.” It’s sure to be a hilarious and exhilarating experience.
Things get even naughtier on the 28th. At 11 am, ride naked or in body paint at the Naughty Bike Ride. For those who want to partake, but not ride, PediCabs will be available. Later in the evening, the heat really gets turned up at Exposed at the Bourbon Street Pub. This giant complex will be hosting a night of debauchery and adult fun, including a foam party, blacklight party, and open pool and jacuzzi. It’s expected to be the most risque party of the season.
On the 29th, it’s time to get dressed up in your best birthday suit for Bowties and Birthday Suits at the Island House. Bowties are provided and the party will be complete with go-go dancers, music, and free shots. It’s an excellent way to enjoy the sunshine and great views (wink) of Key West!
Then, on the 30th, Halloween starts early with the Haunted Hoe Down Costume and Dancy Party. Dance the night away at Wagon Wheel Bar and Grill and welcome the arrival of Halloween at midnight. The event will also have costume prizes and even naughty cowgirl mechanical bull-riding competitions.
This is just a brief list of what’s happening in the 2021 Fantasy Fest lineup. For a full list of events, check out the official schedule. On top of the planned events, there are tons of reoccurring things happening daily, such as the Rocky Horror Show at the Waterfront Playhouse.