Originally created as a way to stimulate the local economy during the off-season, Fantasy Fest has become world famous for the parties, fun and yes, body painting. (See this post for Florida Keys Girl’s Rules to Remember During Fantasy Fest).
Today is the kickoff for the week-long fun fest. For months, people have been campaigning for the titles of King and Queen (and this year: King-ette) of Fantasy Fest. The road to royalty involves fundraising by any means possible: bingo, chicken drops, raffles and more.
Those vying for the royal titles raise money for AIDS Help, a local organization. The man and woman raising the most money are crowned King and Queen. This all happens at the Coronation Ball. (This is Key West, you can wear your flip flops to the “ball”.) Don’t worry, you haven’t missed out yet. For a $5 donation, you can vote for your favorite candidate.
It all takes place at The Southernmost Beach Cafe, on the sand. Fortunately, the rain has subsided so it won’t be a total washout. The 15 inches of rain we got this week certainly would have put a damper on the festivities.
Tomorrow and Sunday is the Bahama Village Goombay Festival. It is a street fair with loads of greasy street food and live music. Historically it has been way too crowded and cramped for my tastes. I never really “got” it.
This year the booths are supposed to be spread out a little more, hopefully making the whole experience a little more palatable. If it is not too crowded, perhaps Babka will want to check it out.
Coming up Monday: Fantasy Fest picks for the week.
Have a safe and fun Fantasy Fest. Don’t forget to send me your Fantasy Fest highlights (and lowlights, if you must!)