Rimi Shaffner of Jupiter, FL, gets into the glow-mosphere during the 2022 Luv2Glow blacklight dance party. This year’s Luv2Glow will take place Wed., Oct 25 at Rick’s Upstairs at the Rick’s Entertainment Complex.

Key West Fantasy Fest kicks off on October 20th and runs through October 30th.

This year marks the 200-year anniversary of Monroe County’s establishment and Key West’s first Naval base. This year’s theme reflects that.  “Uniforms & Unicorns—200 Years of Sailing into Fantasy.”

Fantasy Fest 2023 invites revelers to celebrate and co-create Key West’s annual 10-day costuming festival in Paradise.  From October 20-29 festival-goers can adorn themselves in their most creative themed attire. Then, immerse in an extravaganza of exciting and diverse events occurring island-wide.

Here’s the Key West Fantasy Fest “Uniforms & Unicorns—200 Years of Sailing into Fantasy” highlights.

While the festival is aimed primarily at an adult audience, there are numerous events that are child/family friendly. Complete information including times, locations, and contest entry links can be found at http://www.fantasyfest.com.

  • Oct. 18-27: Dammit Janet! “The Rocky Horror Show – The Musical” brings the infamous cult favorite to the Waterfront Playhouse stage.
  • Oct. 20 and 21: The Bahama Village Goombay Festival welcomes revelers of all ages to celebrate island arts and crafts, music and food. Located in Key West’s historic Bahama Village neighborhood.
  • Oct. 20: The Royal Coronation Ball to crown Fantasy Fest’s 2023 King and Queen at the Coffee Butler Amphitheater.

  • This is a fabulous 2-hour stage show that features entertainment by the competitors along with a line-up of local celebrities. Benefits the Florida Keys SPCA.
  • Oct. 21: Florida Keys Council of the Arts Fantasy Fest poster-signing event. 3-5pm at the La Concha Hotel. Buy your poster and have it signed by Nyssa Jordan, the winning design competition artist. Also, stock up on other collectable Fantasy Fest 2023 t-shirts and swag.
  • Oct. 21: “That Arena Rock Show” at the Ocean Key Resort’s Sunset Pier is a free admission, high energy, theatrical tribute to classic Rock & Roll.
  • Oct. 22: The annual Zombie Bike Ride kicks off at Fort East Martello in the afternoon with fun and entertainment.  Event includes body painting, food vendors and a kids zone. In the evening, thousands of zombies of all ages will bike to the Coffee Butler Amphitheater for a free Zombiefest Dance Party. Enjoy the sounds of DJ Sanaris, presented by Rams Head Presents.
  • Oct. 23: Heroes & Villains 5K & Post-Race Hog Roast Beach Party.

  • Be SUPER, be EVIL, be AWESOME and get your run on in this family friendly costumed event. There’s awards, prizes, and a post-race party at the Southernmost Beach Resort.
  • Oct 23-27: “Pirates of the Conch Republic: The Search for Bodacious Booty – A Burlesque Parody” at the Key West Theater. The show promises a sexy, swashbuckling spectacular for adult audiences.
  • Oct. 25: Costume yourself and your critter(s) to compete, or applaud from the audience at the annual wild and wacky Pet Masquerade at the Coffee Butler Amphitheater. Registration fees benefit Lower Keys Friends of Animals, Inc.
  • Oct. 26: The 40th Annual Key West Headdress Ball, presented by the Key West Business Guild.

  • This event at the Coffee Butler Amphitheater showcases an extravaganza of out-of-this-world headdresses modeled by their creators. All matched with exciting entertainment by some of the island’s best local talent.
  • Oct. 27: All-hands-on-deck for the Captain Morgan Masquerade March. Costumed creatives parade through Old Town Key West, stopping along the route for adult beverage samples provided by selected guest houses.
  • Oct. 28: It’s the world famous Bud Light Fantasy Fest Parade.

  • This year, led by Grand Marshall ADM Finbar Gittelman, the Key’s beloved First Sea Lord and Supreme Commander of the Conch Republic Military Forces. The parade features an extravaganza of floats and marching groups.
  • Oct. 29: Children’s Day from noon to 5pm at Bayview Park. There’s food, rides, games, arts and crafts, and a costume contest for the kids.
  • Oct. 29: Don your fabulous feathers for “The Fat Lady Sings” Tea Dance. This is from 4-8pm at La Te Da on Duval Street—the final official Fantasy Fest celebration.
  • Oct 30: The 2024 Fantasy Fest theme will be announced. Time to start planning your costuming genius!

Fantasy Fest, the world renowned party in paradise, was conceived in 1979 by business owners Tony Falcone and Bill Conkle of Fast Buck Freddie’s department store fame, and Key West Aloe proprietors Joe Lizska and Frank Romano. In 2017 the event contract was awarded to We’ve Got the Keys, a Key West-based company headed by President/CEO Nadene Grossman Orr. Her team has guided the festival into a contemporary and exciting celebration of imagination and creativity.

Fantasy Fest 2023 is presented in part by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council and We’ve Got the Keys. For a full calendar of events, schedule updates, and a handy downloadable mobile APP visit http://www.fantasyfest.com.

2 Florida Cities Named As Best Places To Visit In America

Maybe I’m partial because I love living here, but I have to agree with a new list that names 2 Florida cities as the best places to visit in America.

Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed of living in Florida. My parents had a house in Clearwater Beach that we visited regularly as I was growing up and I told myself that one day I would end up here. And finally, at the age of 34, I made it! First landing in Sarasota and eventually moving further south to Fort Myers. Florida is everything I dreamed of and more. I love the beautiful beaches and the year-round warmth. Even right now when it’s 1000 degrees and 1000% humidity, I’ll take it!

If you too love being a Floridian, this may come as no surprise that 2 Florida cities have made a list of the best places to visit in America. U.S. News put together their list based on different factors including attractions, accommodations & dining options and votes from thousands of travelers around the country.

In Florida, Key West came in at #16. Mentions of deep-sea fishing, Duval Street and historical places like Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park and Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum made it a must-visit city. Destin, up in the Panhandle, came in at #17. Travelers highlighted Henderson Beach State Park and Shores at Crystal Beach Park.

You can see the full list here. Below are the top 10.

Top 10 Best Places to Visit in America:

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

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