2023 Key West Fantasy Fest – Dance the Day Away

Florida - Key West - Fantasy Fest
Florida - Key West - Fantasy Fest

Are you curious about the Key West Fantasy Fest in Florida? Well, we’re here to satisfy that curiosity. In case you didn’t know, all Fantasy Fest’s are given a particular theme and the 2023 theme has been dubbed “Uniforms & Unicorns: 200 Years of Sailing into Fantasy”.  

In this article, we’re going to give you the information you need to start planning your costumes and your trip to Key West. We’ll give you the basics, but you can go to the Fantasy Fest Official Website for the details. So, let’s unpack 2023 Key West Fantasy Fest – All You Need to Know. 

The Strangest Events at the Key West Fantasy Fest  

The Fantasy Fest dates for 2023 are set in stone for October 20 – 29. As usual, the festival will be off and running as soon as the King and Queen of the festical have been crowned at the Goombay Festival in Bahama Village.  

The Goombay Festival leg of the Key West Fantasy Fest goes from Friday October 20 through Saturday, October 21. It’s a highly energetic block party that celebrates the link between Key West and the Bahamas, 277 miles away. The event will feature family-friendly entertainment, food vendors and island arts and crafts.  

For the rest of the festival, you can expect events like the Zombie Bike Ride on Sunday, October 22, and Headdress Ball on Thursday, October 26. There will be a self-guided bar/art walk, colloquially referred to as the “Bart Walk.”  

The Bart Walk is still fairly new to the Fantasy Fest lineup. It welcomes participants to wander the docks of the Seaport and dip into participating bars such as the Waterfront Brewery, the Schooner Warf Bar, and the Half Shell Raw Bar. Along the way participants can snap photos of the local artwork in hopes of winning Fantasy Fest swag. 

Related:  7 Best Restaurants to Watch the Sunset in Panama City Beach 

Also, look for the Fantasy Market, previously dubbed the Fantasy Fest Street Fair, and the Parade, set to go down on Saturday, October 28. The parade historically draws national attention with glittering floats, showmanship, and brilliant costumes. 

You’ll want to get some VIP tickets to places like Bourbon St. Pub’s grand balcony or 801 Bourbon Bar’s balcony for good views of the parade. Also, Mangoes Restaurant has a raised patio, and Hard Rock Café offers priority seating. You want to be sure and get the best view of the grand parade. 

Florida - Key West - Fantasy Fest

Best Way to Watch the Parade 

While the Key West Fantasy Fest is generally family-friendly, many activities are not for the youngsters. If fact, there is a full schedule of black book events. These events will be packed with rakishness and debauchery.  

In the past, such events have included parties like ‘Dirty Doctors and Naughty Nurses’, ‘The Dungeon of Dark Secrets’, ‘Pajama and Lingerie’, ‘Anything but Clothes’, and the infamous Fantasy Fest ‘Couples’ party. 

Sadly, for those familiar with it, the Parrot Heads in Paradise’s annual Meeting of the Minds is out this year. The event usually runs alongside Fantasy Fest, inviting Fantasy Fest revelers and Jimmy Buffett fans alike to celebrate the music of Jimmy Buffet. Unfortunately, the event has been moved to Gulf Shores Alabama for October 25 – 29. 

Key West Fantasy Fest 2023 Annual Events Schedule 

Related:  Pirates of the High Seas Fest – A Detailed Guide

The Fantasy Fest 10-day event is not far off and draws thousands of partiers to Key West so it’s best to start planning your trip soon. If you’re looking for a place to stay, consider the Condé Nast award-winning hotel The Gates Hotel located in New Town. 

Be sure and check out our articles The Islamorada Key and The Banyan Tree and Florida’s Famous Foods – Key Lime Pie & Cuban Sandwiches. Stay up to speed on all the hot spots and sweet destinations. Return to Travel Hop regularly for all the latest travel news and updates.