Zombie Bike Ride 2022 at Fantasy Fest

Fantasy Fest 2023

OCTOBER 20-29, 2023


A 10-day party for adults not quite eccentric enough for burning man

If one night of Halloween isn’t enough for you, Key West’s Fantasy Fest just might be, with 10 days of grown people in spandex, sparkles and costumes cropped so high the Key West police department has to remind visitors that public nudity is still illegal. Started in 1979, this street party on ecstasy has had a different theme every year, with 2023’s being “Uniforms and Unicorns.” A very broad category that will hopefully inspire a unique ensemble of colorful horses with human occupations, or, an outdoor Brony convention.

Parades are a big deal here, and an integral part of Fantasy Fest every year, with floats, performers and, of course, lots of eccentric costumes. The parade on Duval Street — the main drag in Key West — is so integral that three events on Saturday are just different ways to view the same parade, each with a different drink menu to choose from. Beyond the parade, this is an all-day and all-night party, from the party in the streets of Key West to the ones run by local businesses like the “Beach Bunny Pool Party Bash” or “Fat Tuesday Pink Party.” 

Performances are varied and depend on where you wander, but DJs and Drag Queens can be expected all week. Too tame for you? There’s always the Bowties & Birthday Suits party thrown by Island House Resort, which they describe as an “EPIC, gay, clothing-optional pool party!” Just remember to put your pants back on before wandering back to the main event.

 The Specs

  • Up to 75,000 people attend Fantasy Fest each year over the course of 10 days. 
  • Tickets for individual festival events that aren’t free range from $10-$500.
  • Never been to the Florida Keys? Check out Fifty Grande’s guide to the islands here.


Where is the nearest airport?

Key West International Airport (EYW) is the closest airport to the festival. 

Where is the festival located?

Initially centered around a parade on Duval Street in Key West, the festival now has events all around town, outdoors at locations like the Key West Marina and indoors at local businesses. 

Is festival transportation available?

Transportation to and from festival events is not included. 

Can I bring my kids?

There is no restriction on bringing children, however, the festival’s target audience is adults and may not be appropriate for younger children.


BY Emily Frantz