If you don’t have your plans in order for Fantasy Fest 2018 in Key West by now, you’ve got some work to do. Debauchery doesn’t just happen on its own, you know.
The main event — the free-for-all of a street party and parade, which frequently even involves clothed participants — takes place this year on Oct. 27. But Fantasy Fest isn’t just one night. This is Key West. These people can get wild for days.
The games begin Oct. 19. What follows is a full week of drinking, costumes, body art, burlesque, pool parties, Cher karaoke (“Cheraoke”) and a bunch of events with “kinky” in the title, which we are a little nervous about investigating too fully. But no judgment. You do you.
Nothing will come between the Florida Keys and a rowdy celebration. Nothing. In 2017, still reeling from Hurricane Irma, which smashed across the middle Keys in September, residents were dead set on hosting their annual bacchanalia — even if they didn’t have running water or a place to live.
Marky Pierson, the festival’s art director, told the Miami Herald that Fantasy Fest was a way for locals to show nothing will crush their quirky way of life for long.
“They lost everything, but they want to dance in the street,” he said. “I don’t think anything could stop what Key West is and what Key West does, hurricane or no.”
So what’s on the schedule for 2018? Parties, parties, a 5K, a zombie bike ride and more parties. Here’s an event for every day of Fantasy Fest, but there are many more (including those aforementioned kinky ones). A full schedule is available here.
Friday, Oct. 19
Havana Cabana Pool Party, noon-5 p.m.: Free admission, plus a food truck serving Cuban specialties, drink specials and games such as ping pong and Jenga. 3420 N. Roosevelt Blvd.
Saturday, Oct. 20
Bahama Village Goombay Festival, noon-midnight: This family-friendly event — really! — showcases music from gospel to reggae, arts, crafts and food. (This event also take place Oct. 19.)
Sunday, Oct. 21
Zombie Bike Ride: The undead start gathering at 2 p.m. at Fort East Marteo to get painted and maybe for a snack (brains, of course). Then at 6 p.m. they hop on their bikes to ride to Duval Street. The event is also family friendly, so keep your pants on, zombies. The event costs $5. At 7 p.m., join the Walking Dead Dance Party at the Smokin’ Tuna Saloon at 4 Charles St.
Monday, Oct. 22
Heroes and Villains Run/Walk 5K: 6 p.m. Dress up as your favorite superhero or supervillain, meet at Southernmost Beach Cafe and get ready to run. Register here.
Tuesday, Oct. 23
TuTu Tuesday: Oh, the merriment. The pre-party starts at Mary Ellen’s, 420 Applerouth Lane, segues into a TuTu parade through downtown. Note: There will be drinking. Tickets here. Doors open at 7 p.m. for the 10th annual TuTu Party at General Horseplay Complex, 423 Caroline St. Remember: No TuTu, no entry. Tickets can be purchased at the complex starting on Oct. 20.
Capt. Tony’s Party in Plaid, 8 p.m., 428 Green St.: Yes, we know we said one item per day, but some of you are unhappy with wearing a tutu. So wear plaid. Party. Free admission.
Wednesday, Oct. 24
Note: Starting Wednesday, the events multiply like drunks lining up for Porta Potties. There are parties galore. We’ll pick a couple, but it’s up to you to investigate the full list.
Pet Masquerade. Key West Amphitheater at Truman Waterfront Park: Bring your pooch — or bird or snake or whatever — in his best costume for a chance to win prizes. $25 per entry; registration starts at 4 p.m., show at 5:30 p.m. Free to watch.
Cheraoke, 5-9 p.m., The Gates Hotel, 3824 N. Roosevelt Blvd.: You know you have just been waiting for a chance to belt out “Believe.” Admission is free. So is humiliation.
Thursday, Oct. 25
Naughty Bike Ride, 803 Duval St.: Body paint is not optional. Registration and pre-party starts at 11 a.m. You can also hire a pedicab to chauffeur you around if you don’t want to get… sweaty.
Sloppy Joe’s 39th Annual Toga Party, 201 Duval St. Go retro. Wear a toga. Win prizes. Registration starts at 8 p.m. Remember: BODY PAINT IS NOT A TOGA, people (but it is a good accessory).
Friday, Oct 26
12th Annual Pirate Bash at Turtle Kraals, 231 Margaret St. Live your life like a pirate, at least for this one day. Prizes for best pirates and wenches. Doors open at 7 p.m., costume contest at 9 p.m. $10.
Saturday, Oct. 27
Bud Light Fantasy Fest Parade: Floats, costumes, lights — it kicks off at 7 p.m. and wanders down Duval Street til everyone decides to go to a bar.
Sunday, Oct. 28
There’s a family event at Bayview Park and a tea dance at La Te Da. But let’s face it. You’re either staying in bed or driving home. Hope it was fun.