By Team

KEY WEST (CBSMiami/FKNB) – Fantasy Fest is underway in Key West, despite the cancellation nearly two months ago of its iconic Duval Street parade and other large-crowd highlights to protect against the potential spread of COVID-19.

The renowned masking and costuming festival, themed “All a Daze for a Holiday,” continues through October 31st with several dozen smaller-scale events ranging from exotic costume contests to the “Fantasy Façade” decorating competition.

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“We had to make some difficult but responsible decisions to cancel our larger-crowd, large-scale events this year, and we focused on all of the themed parties that happen with our festival partners throughout the week,” said festival director Nadene Grossman Orr. “There are more than 60 fabulous, themed costume masquerade parties and celebrations all week long for everyone to enjoy.”

Weekend standouts included the “Smallest Parade in the Universe,” a miniature version of the Fantasy Fest parade that featured tiny floats traveling along an artist-crafted replica of Duval Street, and an impromptu costumed bike ride that drew scores of cyclists wearing scary face paint and ghoulish garb.

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Upcoming festival events include a ’60s-themed waterfront bash titled “Wharfstock,” a rollicking Toga Party and the Living Art Expo, where the human form becomes the canvas.

According to Grossman Orr, next year’s festival is scheduled for October 21-30, 2022.

“We are already working on Fantasy Fest 2022. We expect it to be a full-scale full lineup, back in its full glory with our parades and marches,” she said. “And the theme is ‘Cult Classics & Cartoon Chaos’.”

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