Key West Fantasy Fest is a week-long street festival held every year on the last week of October in Key West, Florida, United States of America. Key West Fantasy Fest started in the year 1979 when two local businessmen, Tony Falcone and Bill Conkle, organized a festival to accelerate business.
What started as a business stimulation party became an annual ten days street festival held every year since its inception. The Key West Fantasy Fest attendance has surpassed three times the population of Key West and attracts spectators from different parts of the country.
The highlight of Key West Fantasy Fest is the bestowing of symbolic title of Conch King and Queen to two residents of Key West. The residents who collect the maximum amount for AIDS fundraising event is bestowed with the symbolic titles and crowed King and Queen in a grand celebration. The fundraising vent lasts for several months and concludes with the start of the event.
The Key West Fantasy Fest includes events like Goomday which is a two day street party held at Key West’s Bahama neighborhood village, the royal coronation ball where the Conch King and Queen are crowned, the annual headdress ball, a costume contest for pets called the pet masquerade, an annual costume contest called “pretenders in paradise”, a street march through the streets of Key West during day time called “the masquerade march” to name a few important event. The event is concluded with The Fantasy Fest parade.
In addition to the regular parades featuring humorous floats, Conch King and Queen crowing and costume competitions which has become the tradition of Key West Fantasy Fest, the festival also have events like body painting, drag queen contest, AIDS fundraising, ball dancing event, alcohol, food festival and various games stalls.