It is October. Hard to believe, but it’s a fact. That means a few things in Key West: It still feels like summer, only a more tolerable version; snowbirds start to flock back south this month; and, of course, it is nearly time for Fantasy Fest.
The fundraising for AIDS Help is in full force to determine the King and Queen of Fantasy Fest, events have been planned, and folks have
had hotel reservations for nearly a year. As for me? Time to come up with a costume. I am at a loss for what may top last year’s champagne (me) and caviar (FKGuy) look. Stay tuned for that. (Of course, I am open to suggestion, so please feel free to leave one in the comments section below.)
As this will be my sixth Fantasy Fest, I’d like to recap a few helpful hints if you are coming to town (also a good reminder for locals) for the week of parties, body painting and things you can’t un-see.
- What happens at Fantasy Fest does not stay at Fantasy Fest. Generally, it ends up on the internet, and sometimes on this blog. Remember that little tidbit, especially if your boss is also your Facebook friend (or your grandmother, or whoever else should not see your photos).
- Body paint is not clothing. I can still see your nipples, much to my dismay.
- Saturday, Oct. 25 is the nights of the big parade. Very few restaurants are open and taxis are almost non-existent. Plan ahead. This is not the time to wing it.
- Wear comfortable shoes. If you don’t want to end up like me, with broken shoes and dollar store, four-sizes-too-big pool shoes, just wear good, comfortable shoes to start with. Even if they don’t go with your costume. Blisters and Fantasy Fest are not friends.
- Don’t bring your kids. This is not good, clean family fun. They will be scarred for life. Act like an adult, and if that means you sit this one out for the sake of your kids, then go with it. Come back when you can find a babysitter.
- Think about your costume in advance: how will you pee? Will your mask allow drinking? These are important things and should not be an afterthought. A couple of years ago, friends had giant conch heads that they were wearing. They had built in fans and drinking straws. That is good forward thinking.
- Just because it is October does not mean it will be cool. It will likely be hot as ever. We are in the tropics. Keep that in mind when you decide on skin tight velour for your costume.
Last year, we walked Babka through the crowd in her dinosaur outfit. She looked adorable. People stopped to take her picture. But I did not sit outside in a crowd with her for hours on end. You want to know why? Because she is a dog. She doesn’t drink, and the sight of all those naked, drunk people is frightening to her. We can all take a lesson from that.
No matter what events you choose to enjoy for Fantasy Fest, please enjoy safely. And, really, I do need some help coming up with a costume…