Can you believe it’s the 42nd year of Fantasy Fest? It’s hard to imagine that the 10-day extravaganza began as a humble weekend party in the 70s to boost Key West tourism during the slow season. If you’re attending this year, it’s a good idea to read about what to expect, what to pack, where to go, and where to stay.
Here’s an overview of all things Fantasy Fest 2022, which runs from Oct. 21 - 30.
Those new to the scene can avoid rookie mistakes by being in-the-know with A First-Timer’s Guide to Fantasy Fest. We cover everything from open container laws to restroom facilities, traffic hacks, and more. Need help packing? We can help with that too.
Fantasy Fest Costumes (or lack thereof)
Fantasy Fest manages to outdo Halloween, with show-stopping costumes front-and-center. Body paint is a popular way to take your costume up a notch, but you’ll want to take warm temperatures and a sometimes unforgiving sun into account. Read up on Fantasy Fest costume tips, from where to get painted to practical considerations, like footwear. Pro tip: Browse the Fantasy Fest 2022 schedule, pick a party in advance, and plan your costume accordingly.
Aside from costumes, there are ground rules like photo-snapping etiquette, open-container laws, and transportation issues to contend with. You definitely don’t want these little details hampering your good time during Fantasy Fest. Be two steps ahead of the rest by reading up on 5 Tips for Surviving Fantasy Fest.
Fantasy Fest has funky traditions, like the royal coronation, the headdress ball, tutu Tuesdays, pet masquerades, and more. There are so many events that take place over the 10-day fest it’s enough to make your head spin. Refer to our Best of Fantasy Fest guide that covers the best of the best.
Can’t Miss Event: Goombay Fest in Bahama Village
Fantasy Fest kicks off its first weekend with The Goombay Festival. The street fair is held in the vibrant Bahama Village neighborhood and celebrates the rich music, cultures, food, and dance of the island’s Caribbean roots. This is one of the limited family-friendly events of Fantasy Fest, so round up the kids! This year, the Goombay Fest will be held on Friday, Oct. 21 and Saturday, Oct. 22, from noon to midnight.
Can’t Miss Event: Fantasy Fest Parade
After a 3-year hiatus, the Fantasy Fest parade is back! Winding through Old Town from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean, the parade is full of festive floats, wild walking groups, bicycle brigades, and even human-powered kinetic machines (all of which are competing for awards like the Best Overall Winner, Best in Costume, and Best Conch Style Architecture. From purchasing a special ‘balcony viewing’ ticket to winging it with the crowd on the street, check out our Prep in Advance for Fantasy Fest post for a helpful parade game plan.
This Fantasy Fest, stay with us at 24 North Hotel
What are you waiting for? 24 North Hotel has awesome amenities that set us apart from the rest, such as hourly shuttle service to Old Town - so you never have to contend with Fantasy Fest traffic. We also have a Starbucks on-site, an awesome pool area, lounge, poolside restaurant, and clean, comfortable rooms.
This year, Fantasy Fest is coming to New Town! Just steps from 24 North Hotel, the specialty rum and rum cocktail bar Rum Row will host the Prohibition Pool Party as part of Fantasy Fest. Visit the poolside lounge located next door at our sister hotel, The Gates Hotel.
Check out our rooms here, and see which of our online specials works for you. We have special rates just for Florida residents, plus savings on nightly parking, breakfast, entertainment, and more.
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