Wednesday 30 October 2019

Fantasy Fest 2019, Key West

At the end of the week of the fun and frolics of Fantasy Fest, it is timely to do a blog post telling you about what my experience was, and my thoughts on it all. (Spoiler! I enjoyed it!)

A little history first! From the official Fantasy Fest website:
"Fantasy Fest is an annual 10 day party in paradise for grown-ups.  Started in 1979 by a small group of Key West locals, the party was created to bring visitors to the island in what was a typically quiet,  but beautiful season.  It worked.  Fantasy Fest has grown every year since its inception and is now the wildest extravaganza around!  Fun-loving revelers from around the globe bring their creativity and imaginations as they descend upon Key West each year in October for 10 days filled with costuming, parades, libations, and excitement!"

So what has evolved over the last 40 years, the result is that we now have approximately 100,000 revellers (3 times the population of the island) parading and partying in the skimpiest of outfits all in the name of fun!  

And fun it is!  Yes those costumes are skimpier than you can imagine - think body paint and pasties i.e. a lot of breasts out there for all to see - but heck they are just breasts right?  (Free the nipple and all that eh!). Hells bell's for one week of the year it is a novelty to just enjoy a bit of guilt free people watching.  I say "guilt free" because hey, to go around in those skimpy costumes the wearer definitely has an exhibitionist streak. So you know what; I reckon you're doing them a compliment by looking (or lol in my case, staring!) and admiring.

It's not just the novelty of the nudity/almost nudity that is fun.  There is just a general sense of gaiety, playfulness and abandonment on the island, down near Duval Street. It feels like a lot of adults letting go and play acting.  You know, sometimes being childlike, dressing in costume, and allowing yourself be free can be a very therapeutic thing to do.  

Personally, I spent more time out and about in bars and on Duval Street in one week than I ever had before.  We had great fun taking part in the Local's parade on Friday night.  Quirky and zaniness aplenty as you would expect from inhabitants of "Key Weird".  I also enjoyed Tutu Tuesday where I wore an outfit consisting of a swimsuit and tutu.

But what undoubtedly was the highlight - the main parade on Saturday night. Creative and energetic, the standard was so much higher than I was expecting...that may come from the fact that I am Irish and have seem parades in little country villages like Athboy and Trim where children parade while dressed in blue plastic bags representing their local river.  Oh dear!
(Side note.  Readers - If you are ever in Ireland (even Dublin) on March 17th, stay in the pub, warm by a fire and watch the St Patrick's Day parade on tv. My advice for what it is worth).

But right now my advice is, do yourself a favour and watch some videos online of the opening of the Saturday parade!

And finally... Who wants to see what I wore during the week? Yeah, a little cliche I know.  It was my first Fantasy Fest, will do better next year am sure!  Anyway, cliche but fun, it worked!

Left - Tutu Tuesday
Middle - Local's parade
Right - Bet you didn't spot that is the same costume because of the new headpiece lol, I mixed it up while watching the Saturday night parade! :)))))

Until next year Fantasy Fest!

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