UPDATED: 2021 TIPS FOR 1ST TIMERS TO FF (or anyone else going)

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The Travel Slut
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UPDATED: 2021 TIPS FOR 1ST TIMERS TO FF (or anyone else going)

Post by The Travel Slut »

Hello and get ready to enter the world of Fantasy Fest in Key West, Florida which I have often referred to as "Mardi Gras on Steroids".
NOTE: I haven’t been to Key West since FF2019 so there will likely be some changes.

And check out the largest, most active FF groups here:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/fantasyfesters (3,200+ members & 45,000 photos)
http://krazykrewe.com (1,000+ members, a photo gallery, weekly chat, forum, etc) and https://onlyfans.com/CougarAnnie (all my 100% uncensored videos)

You may want to consider some of these ideas before you go as either a FF veteran or 1st timer to FF.

In addition, while in Key West, learn about the nightly meets by various groups (including the Krewe de Krazy Life group @ Capt. Tony's Saloon nightly) and learn where the best parties are for each night as many are announced only on the day of the party. http://www.krazykrewe.com which include access to the gallery, weekly Monday & Thursday night online chatrooms, nightly meetings @ Capt. Tony's, and even a newsletter). The Krewe de Krazy Life is THE MOST AWESOME & VETERAN GROUP OF FF.

My Tips for First Time Fantasy Fest attendees:

You are in for a treat both for the Fantasy Fest event itself and for Key West which is a great, eclectic island-city in and of itself.

While I've only been 15 times to Fantasy Fest since 1999 (and about 30 times to Key West), I have learned a few things through personal experience or from the experience of others (in no particular order):

Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Key West is a walking town especially on and around Duval Street so comfortable shoes or sandals are a must. Don't walk downtown in barefeet as the streets are likely to have either debris or glass, etc. that could cut your feet. Also, in the heat, both streets and sidewalks heat up tremendously and you don't want to either burn your feet or have to do an emergency purchase of shoes/sandals from a downtown vendor unless absolutely necessary. Consider having a lightweight/foldable rain poncho for those occasional showers to protect bodypaint or costumes.

Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Essentials (especially if you plan do to a "Duval Crawl" include: Aleve/Tylenol, antacids, Pepto-Bismol, and or special hangover OTC meds. Also have available at your hotel/B and B some insect repellent, sunscreen, and aloe vera gel or know where the nearest source of these items can be found. And be sure to check out my extensive FF travel item checklist also in this site.

Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: If you plan to do the beaches, bring a blanket and or chair and some sort of strong UV sun protection. The sun is brutal on skin not normally exposed to this heat and UV's at this latitude. A beach or gear bag works also for carrying around Key West even at night while in costume.

Transportation: During high season or any major event like FF parking can be almost non-existent near Duval Street even if you have a reservation at your Bed and Breakfast, motel/hotel. Don't even think about parking in a resident's zone unless you have specific permission or blocking a driveway/access point as the fine and/or tow bills will be huge.

There are parking garages, meters and some free side-street parking but again, Key West parking during Fantasy Fest will be both expensive and extremely limited when Key West's island population swells from 26,000+ to well over 50,000+.

Be cautious driving on the one-way streets and the narrow streets where the Conch Train operates. Watch out for bicycles, pedal cabs, small (silent) electric vehicles, mopeds and of course, pedestrians==tourists & FantasyFesters. Open drinking and walking occurs 24/7 so be careful in all regards with driving and/or walking. Expect detours at times also.

Key West, while small and compact in size, has some streets that are both very narrow and have obscured sidewalks/driveways so watch your step--especially at night. Some walkways are not level, some are obstructed, or even have debris of some type.

Be extremely careful driving as pedestrians (sometimes intoxicated and/or jaywalking) will walk right out in front of you from previously hidden or obscured areas.

Be wary on the streets for bicyclists and people riding scooters/mopeds that may not be careful or skilled in operating them. Finally, it is easy to be distracted while looking at the people and sites of Key West so concentrate on both your driving and your walking.

Key West's "Conch Train" operates on both main and side streets so be sure to give it leeway and right of way as it is a very large and long train.

Driving into Key West's "new town" at the north end of the island there can be a culture shock after driving the previous 50 miles or so. Key West is modern and developed and always seems to have ongoing renovations/construction. Be cautious of traffic controls, traffic workers, and slow-downs. Don't be in a hurry. Remember, you are on "Island Time" now and the 25,000+ full time residents will appreciate patience as will your additional fellow 50,000+ Fantasy Fest revelers.

Traveling along Highway US 1 (aka North Roosevelt Blvd. and at mid-town, Truman Avenue), you will start to see the signs of the Fantasy Fest celebration as many people decorate their homes and businesses in the colors or theme of the event.

2021's theme is “All a Daze for a Holiday" and is the 42nd Anniversary of Fantasy Fest and this year runs from Friday, Oct. 22 to Sunday, Oct. 31 however several of the big events concluding the week of Halloween-type fun have been cancelled due to Covid concerns.

Key West during Fantasy Fest is definitely not for the timid or shy and small children should not be downtown after dark (or at all if possible). Bodypaint, nudity and skimpy, sexy/see through clothing rules day and night and is very prevalent especially in the Fantasy Zone on Duval Street! Be aware.

Nightly confirmed & cancelled costume themes & events--both official and unofficial--can be found on the main Fantasy Fest website at: http://www.fantasyfest.com and http://krazykrewe.com

You really should consider costumes for every night for the most interactions and best-fun participation--and expect to be photographed/videotaped in all public areas. If you are camera shy for any reason (work, kids, etc), then wear a mask of some type or some costume disguise. And do get bodypainted! I highly recommend Pashur House of Pashur the Bodypainter fame who is not only creative and super-talented but the creator of many official FF posters & advertisements, a long time member of the Krewe de Krazy Life group, and a fun and friendly guy & awesome friend.

Refer to the official FF events, activities, & party options here: www.fantasyfest.com/schedule/

Other unofficial events, parties and activities occur regularly around Key West and some are even spontaneous so ask veteran Fantasyfesters for the latest updates on happenings you might enjoy.

Some of my favorite parties with the Krewe de Krazy Life that I have experienced since 1999 with nightly gatherings from 7 pm or so at Capt. Tony's Saloon on Greene St. near Duval include:

1st SATURDAY NIGHT-- Little Black Dress Night at Capt. Tony's Saloon. Anything goes but keep it PG on the streets as there are still many tourists and residents prepping for FF and unaware of the quasi-clothing-optional nature of FF. Save the risque fun for the bars and clubs and use common sense to cover up on the street especially while walking from and to your accommodations.

SUNDAY NIGHT--Zombie Night (formerly Pirate Night) with the earlybirds of Fantasy Fest getting warmed up at various venues around town and Capt. Tony's has been the place to be the past few years to the point that police have shut down Greene Street near Duval Street to accommodate the overflow.

MONDAY NIGHT-- Fetish Night features all those in leather, vinyl, rubber and all types of Fetish and Fantasy wear up to and including bodypaint (which is acceptable any night). It's not uncommon to see 100's (if not 1,000's) of people dressed in leather or latex or some variation for this various parties. Many others parties exist in non-sanctioned venues. Again, Capt. Tony's has a special celebration in their Dungeon side room called Capt. Tony's Rubber Fetish Ball.

Also, MONDAY is Leather and Fetish costume theme night@ at First Flight (formerly Kelly's) Kinky Karnival. I've attended this leather-fetish party @ Kelly's for many years and this is definitely NOT the place for anyone shy, timid or shocked easily as you will see (or experience) just about everything and anything.

Plan to be amazed at what you see, hear or even experience on the streets, in the bars and at the private parties. The costumes and actions of the crowds are often awesome and amazing. Some of the photos in my Flickr Group and some of my YouTube videos only reveal a small aspect of FF happenings..

TUESDAY NIGHT--features the Plaid Party @ Capt. Tony's Saloon and in addition to the other parties throughout Key West. Crowded parties are the norm especially as the week goes on. Be courteous and patient with everything and everyone

WEDNESDAY -SUNDAY---refer to both the official FF website events for the latest info as well as the Krewe de Krazy Life website & chat for their concurrent events

All the while these official events are occurring, many bars and saloons feature their own party theme and of course, thousands of people flock into the streets and sidewalks of Duval where people-watching takes on a new level.

Again, Duval Street becomes an event in itself with thousands of people costumed and as many taking photos or just people watching and cruiseship passengers that happen to be in port during the week sure get an eyeful.

The festival has many events that are jam packed (some require tickets or cover charges to access) with costumed people, parties and activities
The drive or the flight back home is always a challenge. Between hangovers, crowds, and general dismay about returning to reality, leaving Key West and Fantasy Fest can be tough except for the knowledge that the next Fantasy Fest is less than 360 days away!

Now, for some important DO's AND DON'T's of Fantasy Fest:

Don't wear a mask you can't drink in or see out of.
Don't choose a costume you can't use the bathroom in.
Don't wear shoes you can't walk in. Walking on streets & sidewalks can be a challenge for some.
Do dress sexier than you thought you might initially (but no total nudity in public and if walking from residential areas, consider a cover-up for modesty purposes).
Do make sure you have a place to stay before you get too drunk and find yourself under a tree or on a sidewalk.
Do realize that the shape or size of your breasts/penis will not change with spray paint (but get body painted!).
Don't wear your thong with your leg in the wrong hole.
Do trim your private areas within the limits of your costume ...please.
Do donate your leftover items to locals who want to enjoy Fantasy Fest as much as the rest of us but often just make room for us.
Don't flash the cops. Not cool, not legal.
Don't ask the cops to flash you. REALLY not cool.
Do understand that just because you are near-naked doesn't mean that others will accept your choice of costume.
Don't go out carrying valuable items that you are likely to lose if/when you get drunk--- such as a purse wallet, expensive jewelry or your spouse.
Do wrap your money in plastic or a ziplock first if you have nothing to carry it in but your bikini bottoms or sweaty shorts. No one wants to handle sweaty-wet cash.
Do know that unoccupied bathrooms will be scarce all week
Don't verbally abuse anyone---ever!---- Everyone is there to have a good, laid-back time.
Don't be in a hurry---remember you are on (overcrowded) island time
Don't step in front of moving parade floats to pick up candy or beads.
If you DO take pictures, be polite, patient, and asking 1st if it is OK to take a photo will usually result in a yes answer and you will get a nicer, posed shot or two. Also, have your camera ready to shoot FIRST before you ask.
Do exercise some tact and courtesy with the folks working in the bars and cafes. They may be there working their days off for your enjoyment. Drinks take time to create and be served as do meals.
Don't tip in beads - service workers don't want or need beads--- tip with cash always---please.
Don't ask the female servers to show you their boobs--there are thousands of women on Duval Street dying to show you all that they've got.
Don't try to touch, kiss, etc service workers or Fantasy Fest workers or other costumed Fantasyfesters...ever. Unwanted, unexpected touching will create major problems for you.
Do carry some info or business card of your hotel/B and B address so someone can help get you home if you need help late at night should you be too intoxicated (over-served).
Don't be afraid to dress up. Have an outrageously fun time and tip BIG!.

A note on nudity at Fantasy Fest and in Key West from a good friend, FF veteran of many years and a keen Key West observer and historian.

“Nudity is expressly forbidden on the street all the time, as are exposed genitals. KW ordinances say cover must be "opaque" (not sheer) and body paint as a breast cover is allowed in the fantasy zone only during "Fantasy Fest Week" which the KW police have been told by the city to interpret as starting at Midnight Sunday/Monday, and have done so for the past several years. Since the zone is specifically mentioned in the ordinance in conjunction with "Fantasy Fest Week", the zone isn't just the last two days (much as they might like you to think it is). However the "zone" boundary is never defined legally and the actual duration of the "week" has been left vague - it seems to extend for most of the night after the Saturday parade, but not necessarily into Sunday day (a short week LOL).”

That said ... interpretation of these statutes seems to depend on the political environment each year, the individual LEO (law enforcement officer) and the time and place (some events are family oriented) so always have a cover-up handy. Some KW LEOs seem more motivated to be "clothes police" than others. New LEOs from other agencies are imported to supplement the KW officers and Monroe County sheriffs as the week goes on and may have different perspectives so can be very zealous at first, but gradually get jaded. Bar owners have been instructed (and threatened) by a politically motivated FF Committee to self enforce an arbitrary interpretation of the rules that seems to change each year. Most realize this is untenable and not in their best financial interest. It all adds up to a lot of confusion.

Bottom line is that LEO's really don't want to the waste time and paperwork to bust you for nudity unless you are having actual sex in the street. But if they see nudity, they are instructed to correct it and move on. LEOs in KW during FF are only likely to arrest you if you become belligerent, combative or uncooperative and resist their instructions. Even then they go out of their way to exert control with aggressive warnings which reserves manpower for arresting the real troublemakers, rather than reducing their presence on the street by taking the time out to process minor offenses. They concentrate on crowd control, so don't draw a crowd of paparazzi taking pictures of your cleverly costumed nakedness. If your costumes are revealing then learn where the LEOs hang out and avoid them (hint street corners and alleys especially in the 200 and 300 block of Duval). There are a lot less LEOs on the street at the beginning of the week and most are local KW or Monroe County.

You may be challenged and told to cover up if you have minimal breast or genital coverings of any kind (or they think you do). These challenges are often arbitrary, confrontational and unpleasant by design to project authority and scare you into compliance. Don't bother to debate or protest .. no matter how unfair you think it is, its unlikely he/she will back down and risk losing control .. just be submissive and do what the LEO tells you, then move on. Don't let them get into your head and spoil your fun. When you are out of their sight, do what you like.
FriarFuk & Nun4U aka Bob & Fran, The Holy HellRaisers

NOTE: I am so excited about my 16th Fantasy Fest (1st Sat. to Weds) this October

In the meantime, take care, travel safe and have safe fun!

Annie
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"Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go to Fantasy Fest & Hedo!" CougarMilfAnnie
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