Fans of Key West’s Fantasy Fest can enjoy two streaming events that showcase the masking and costuming festival’s creativity and spirit — despite the cancellation of the Oct. 16-25 in-person celebration to guard against coronavirus spread. A virtual variety show and mini-parade, scheduled Oct. 16 and Oct. 24, raise money for local nonprofit organizations.
Conservation-minded divers and snorkelers can enjoy a unique underwater concert that supports reef protection Saturday, July 11, in the Florida Keys — home to the continental United States' only living coral barrier reef. The Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival takes place at beautiful Looe Key Reef in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
While the Florida Keys remain temporarily closed to visitors, it’s possible to stay connected by sharing Keys memories and stories of extraordinary people. People like “Shine” Forbes — a sparring partner of legendary author and 1930s Key West resident Ernest Hemingway — who was one of the island’s most unique links to the colorful author.
Fans of the fluted, pink-lined conch shell displayed their pucker power Saturday, March 7, during Key West's quirky annual Conch Shell Blowing Contest. Participants ranging from kids to seniors to groups attempted to coax the most impressive sounds from their “instruments” — with one woman even tootling parts of melodies including Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody."
New Year’s Eve in the Florida Keys traditionally features balmy temperatures and a warm welcome for revelers fleeing colder spots. From beachside fireworks where overcoats and gloves aren’t allowed to wacky takeoffs on the traditional ball drop in New York’s Times Square, the island chain offers a wealth of ways to welcome 2020.
The seafaring spirit, vibrant marinas, renegade arts emporiums and inviting waterfront bars and restaurants of Stock Island will be showcased Dec. 13-15 during the I Love Stock Island Festival. The festival celebrates Stock Island’s culture and heritage with yummy culinary offerings, art studio tours, a holiday boat parade, live music and much more.
Incredible as it may seem, the 2019 holidays are sneaking up fast. And in the Florida Keys, they’re celebrated with festivities that range from traditional to eccentric — with, of course, a unique island twist. Throughout November and December, visitors can find events designed to jingle their bells all around the holiday-loving Keys communities.
Fantasy Fest, Key West’s internationally renowned masking and costuming festival, offers both outrageous revelry and a unique showcase for artists — illustrators who create vivid poster and T-shirt designs, body painters who use the human form as their canvas and a local talent exhibiting immersive graffiti-inspired images. There’s even a self-guided art and bar stroll.
The eerie yet lighthearted Zombie Bike Ride will bring thousands of “the bicycling dead” to prowl Key West's Atlantic Ocean shoreline and streets Sunday, Oct. 20. Since it began in 2010, the pre-Halloween ride has become a tradition for visiting and local adults, kids and even some bewildered pets — all in spooky zombie garb.
Key West's Fantasy Fest commemorates its 40th anniversary Oct. 18-27 with world-famous costume contests, action-packed street festivals, adult-themed revelries and a dazzling grand parade. Feeling a bit overwhelmed when trying to decide which events to attend? Fear not, because here Keys Voices outlines six must-do parties and activities at some favorite LGBTQ hangouts.