KEY WEST, FL - OCTOBER 27: People take photographs of a person dressed in a costume as they participate in the Fantasy Fest Masquerade March in Key West, Florida October 27, 2007. The 10-day costuming and masking festival ends Sunday. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The nudity discussion continues, for this year at least, body paint is considered clothing at Fantasy Fest in Key West, in one specific area. And that area is what they call the Fantasy Zone that includes Simonton, Duval and Whitehead streets from Front Street to Truman Avenue. This is setting up to be a yearly battle, according to Keys Weekly “Mayor Teri Johnston vehemently opposed a Fantasy Zone, saying it encourages people to be nude on the city’s main street. “We host all kinds of events that are very successful that you are not nude at,” Johnston said. “I don’t know of one other community in the U.S. that would say, ‘Yes, please come into my hometown and be nude on my main street.’”

Police Chief Brandenburg agrees

and stated that nudity is never tolerated on the streets of Key West any time of year, but added that violators typically aren’t arrested. The nudity ordinance states “ from the top of the nipple down has to be covered.” So Fantasy Fest nudity is technically illegal.

There was a lot of back and forth at the meeting but it looks like this year’s Fantasy Fest is going to allow body paint as clothing, but only with the ‘Fantasy Zone’. For this year at least. The mayor doesn’t like it, and the police chief is caught in the middle of enforcing what’s on the books, and allowing people to have a good time. He stressed that the lawmakers need to fix that.

Keys Weekly reported that “Commissioner Jimmy Weekley then urged the commission to support the city’s police and code departments “and then direct the city attorney to rewrite the ordinance for next year.”

So it looks like the Fantasy Fest we all know is back on track, but the push to make it more ‘family friendly’ seems to be gaining steam.

Covid really wrecked Fantasy Fest the last couple of years, it’d be nice to get it back to what it used to be. . If you’re new to the area, here’s a look back at Fantasy Fest over the years:

 

 

 

 

Joe Winner spends his days combing through memes and off beat stories to bring you the side of Florida not always seen.