Let Your Imagination Soar: Unveiling the Magic of Fantasy Fest in Key West!

fantasy fest parade


When it comes to colorful costumes, vibrant parades, and a party spirit, there’s no place quite like Key West’s Fantasy Fest. This world-famous, ten-day celebration captures the very essence of Key West’s free-spirited and creative culture. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the fantastical world of Fantasy Fest and list specific events taking place at spots located at the Key West Historic Seaport!

The History of Fantasy Fest

The origins of Fantasy Fest date back to the late 1970s when a small group of local artists and enthusiasts decided to celebrate the island’s creative spirit. What began as a modest party to help generate renewed buzz and demand for local retail and tourism has since evolved into one of the most iconic festivals in the world. Today, Fantasy Fest is an annual 10-day extravaganza that attracts thousands of visitors from across the globe.

fantasy fest creators
Photo: Fantasy Fest Website

The Theme

Each year, Fantasy Fest adopts a different theme, serving as the creative backbone for the event. Themes have ranged from “Pirates, Pundits, and Political Party Animals” to “Aquatic Afrolic.” This annual theme inspires participants to craft elaborate costumes and decorations, adding to the festival’s unique and dynamic atmosphere. This year, it’s “Unicorns and Unicorns – 200 Years of Sailing into Fantasy.” In fact, you can check out the list of themes for each year of the festival to date!

Incredible Costumes

One of the most captivating aspects of Fantasy Fest is the exceptional effort put into costumes of all colors, shapes, and sizes. And the photos don’t do it justice: They’re works of art that you have to see up close and personal for yourself! Attendees transform into everything from mythical creatures to pop culture icons, ensuring that every corner of Key West is a feast for the eyes.


Fantasy Fest Events at the Key West Historic Seaport

GET YOUR PICTURE WITH THE KING & QUEEN: Stop by Conch Republic Seafood Company and grab a selfie with our Fantasy Fest King & Queen! Open daily at 11:30AM for lunch and dinner! One of the best Happy Hours on the island. Every day from 4-7PM in the Bar & Patio. 631 Greene Street Be sure to tag us #conchfarm, #fantasyfest..you might win some cool Fantasy Fest prizes!

FURY WATER ADVENTURES DISCOUNT: Save 10% off all Fury trips & 15% Off Fury Bike Rentals with promo code FANTASY. Book Online or visit the nearest authorized Fury Sales Booth. *Not valid with any other offer. One coupon per group. Blackouts and restrictions may apply. Limited Time Offer.

WHARFSTOCK AT THE SCHOONER WHARF BAR: Travel back in time to the ’60s, with Peace and Love Woodstock-style!. Feel the vibe with tie dye, flower power, and psychedelic colors in Schooner Wharf’s time capsule of the era. The sit-in starts at 7 PM. Prizes for sexiest Hippie Chick and Grooviest Dude — judging at 8:30 PM. Groove to live music and dance to tunes reaching back in time from ‘That Hippie Band’ from 7-midnight, plus cold drinks and great galley fare. Cash prizes and gift certificates to the winners!. 202 William St.; 305-292-9520. No cover charge or entry fee to The Man.


Fantasy Fest Tips and Code of Conduct

Per the Fantasy Fest website, the following are rules of conduct for this year’s event:

  • No nudity or lewd acts on public property or in public.
  • Body painting must be done in enclosed or screened in areas, entirely out of public view. Painted female breasts are permitted, but ONLY ALLOWED within the designated “FANTASY ZONE”
  • Please wear a cover-up to avoid ILLEGAL exposure on public property and on all city streets outside of the FANTASY ZONE.
  • No glass containers are allowed inside the designated FANTASY ZONE. Drink from paper or plastic cups provided by bars and vendors, or the Souvenir Fantasy Fest To-Go Cup.
  • Open containers of alcohol are not allowed outside the FANTASY ZONE. Please stay inside the party area while you are carrying open alcoholic beverages.
  • Help preserve the environment by using the recycling containers conveniently placed along the boundary of the FANTASY ZONE. Recycling bins are located on every cross street within the FANTASY ZONE. Please use them!
  • No backpacks, coolers, packages, water guns, weapons or replica weapons will be allowed.

You can read more about the rules and regulations HERE. Remember to have fun, be responsible, and stay safe!


In Conclusion

Overall, it’s safe to say that Fantasy Fest in Key West is more than just a festival; it’s a captivating and enchanting experience where attendees make memories that will last a lifetime. The spirit of creativity, community, and celebration is uniquely Key West, so join the party, let your imagination soar, and create unforgettable memories at Fantasy Fest!

***Plus, check out the full 2023 schedule of events and festivities here!

Finally, for more information on the extraordinary shops, unique eateries, and unforgettable events year round at the Key West Historic Seaport, visit our website and follow us on social media!

key west historic seaport logo