For many visitors to Key West, October is one of the best times of the year for island-style relaxation, adventure and fun surrounded by tropical highs of 84 degrees. It marks the halfway point between summer ending and the festive holidays starting, offering the perfect opportunity to escape from the daily routine in search of some much-needed autumn heat. From mid-October, Key West is not only bathed in beautiful rays of golden sunshine; it is also covered by an explosion of color as hundreds of visitors and locals alike gather for the annual Key West Fantasy Fest taking place this year from 17 – 26 October, 2014.
What is Fantasy Fest
What started off as a humble attempt by a small group of locals to attract more visitors to the island during a quieter month, has now become one of the wildest crowd-pulling events in the Key West calendar. A celebration of all things costume and masking, Fantasy Fest follows a theme every year and will this year be focused on Animéted Dreams and Adventure in 2014. Animé is a traditional Japanese form of animation which has become popular on the western scene, sparking a costuming lifestyle known as “cosplay.”
What to expect at Fantasy Fest in Key West
At Fantasy Fest 2014 there will be color; there will be music; and there will be plenty of food! Duval Street will transform into a mile-long food-lovers’ paradise with vendors offering a range of tastes to suit every appetite. The famous Key West street will be awash with lavishly dressed locals and visitors, all dressing to impress in their creative costumes. The Fantasy Fest street fair will also feature liquor booths and arts and crafts stalls. Parrot Key Resort is located about 3 miles from this area, so you are close to the action but can enjoy a quiet and relaxing stay when not attending Fantasy Fest events.
As you immerse yourself in the festival fun, look out for the infamous drag queen contests, costume parties, island bands, body painting and neighborhood parades. The highlight of the event is what all revelers eagerly await; the Fantasy Fest Parade which takes over Duval Street on October 25th with humorous floats and unforgettable costumes keeping tens of thousands of spectators entertained.
Where to eat, drink and rest your head
If you stay at Parrot Key Resort for a minimum of 4 nights during the week of Fantasy Fest, you will be treated to a $50 credit per night (maximum of $250 in total) to indulge poolside over delectable breakfasts, lunches and drinks at our poolside Café Blue. There are popular dishes to choose from, including shrimp salads, Cuban-style paninis and fish tacos, while the tempting drinks menu features island drinks such as the Parrot Rum Punch and Key Lime Daiquiri. Parrot Key Resort provides the perfect setting for daytime relaxation before soaking up the spirit of Fantasy Fest on Duval Street later in the evening.
The Fantasy Fest Hotel Package includes:
- 5% Discount on overnight accommodations at Parrot Key Resort for a minimum of four nights, in any room type (discount is available select Fantasy Fest dates)
- $50 per night to be used in Cafe Blue for food and drinks (max $250 total)
- Book the Fantasy Fest Hotel Package
Hit the town and party
Head for evening drinks in the lively Fat Tuesday (305 Duval Street) which serves a delicious selection of cocktails including frozen daiquiris and Key West margaritas. For fresh oysters, clams and pink shrimp, head to the Raw Bar at Dante’s (951 Caroline Street) which is also hosting a pool party during Fantasy Fest. There will be plenty of live music staged across the island at venues including Hog’s Breath Saloon (400 Front Street), Sloppy Joe’s (201 Duval Street) and Smokin’ Tuna Saloon (4 Charles Street).
Event information: www.fantasyfest.com
Fantasy Fest Key West photos compliments of the Florida Keys News Bureau / Andy Newman
Call 855-327-7200 to speak with an onsite vacation planner or book reservations online now.