Download video: KEY WEST PARTY ● FANTASY FEST ● MIAMI
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It’s an annual tradition that began in 1979 and has grown into a 10-day, raucous raising, party going, costume-wearing, body-painting extravaganza. With street parties, parades, food, drink and drag queen contests, the crowning of the Conch King and Queen and fundraisers to assist those with AIDS and HIV, Fantasy Fest rivals New Orleans’ Mardi Gras. Throw on a toga, a costume or just come as you are and join the nearly 100,000 people of all ages that flock to the island for their fill of laid-back, free-spirited, Halloween fun, Key West style! Enjoy the festivities that take place all throughout the island, including events and parties for the full 10 days.
The first Fantasy Fest was held in 1979 when two local businessmen, Tony Falcone and the late Bill Conkle, organized a party to stimulate business. The event has escalated to a ten day celebration that includes balls, a parade, costume competitions, AIDS fundraisers, body painting, drag queen contests, costume parties, alcohol, and pet and neighborhood parades for the whole family. Fantasy Fest has grown to rival New Orleans' Mardi Gras as an event drawing out-of-towners.
The highlight of Fantasy Fest is its parade featuring humorous floats, including one carrying the annually elected Conch King and Queen. In recent years, attendance at Fantasy Fest has surpassed 100,000 people, or more than three times the population of the island itself.
In October 2005, the event was postponed because of devastation wrought on the island by Hurricane Wilma; instead of being held at its usual time close to Halloween, it was moved to December and celebrated just before Christmas.
The best party in Florida! Enjoy! It's amazing halloween parade! Hot Parade!