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This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Hitting the Homestretch

October 25, 2019

Kathy and Michael

Wendy and Scott

Gae as Janis Joplin

Hitting the Homestretch

The latter part of the Fantasy fest week in Key West has traditionally been the culmination of the build-up that has been going on through the events as the days draw closer to the final weekend. At least that is how it has traditionally been over the twenty-nine years that I have been participating in Fantasy Fest until the advent of some of the amazing early week events such as the Zombie Bike Ride and Tutu Party sort of eclipsed the thunder of the main Fantasy Fest week as the former

 organizers sort of lost their grip on the creative aspect and began pandering to a sketchier element.
With the new regime in place the latter week events have been steadily regaining their place as the preeminent Fantasy Fest events as the Masquerade March and Saturday parade have regained much of their former glory and are now back where they belong at the top of the Fantasy Fest heap and as creative and fun as they ever have been.

Nan and Mark

There are of course still a few events that I make a conscious choice not to attend, mostly those advertised as adult-only parties with tickets available on KeysTix. There is one event that I do attend every year, and which I always tell myself that I won’t be back next year, but then end up going to shoot anyway and that is the Dante’s Halos and Horns pool party.

There is nothing really wrong or really inappropriate about the party, it is by far the most popular pool party of the week, with literally thousands of attendees, many of them crammed into the Dante’s pool at the same time wearing very little. Those in attendance seem to love it and everyone is always in a great mood, but hanging out in a pool with thousands of near naked strangers just isn’t my thing, more of a personal choice than a judgement on those who seem to be having the time of their lives.


I always feel like something of a creeper being there taking photos, even though I am being paid to do so and this year I just made a quick lap around the pool before heading over to have a wonderful BBQ lunch at the Dirty Pig. I was so overwhelmed and exhausted after that that I simply opted out of attending any Fantasy Fest events on Thursday evening, skipping even perennial favorites like the Headdress Ball this year.

I was back at it on Friday when things really kick up a notch. I started off by heading down to the wonderful Street Fair on Duval Street and going to the official Fantasy Fest poster signing at Paradise Tattoo. The poster design this year was done by the amazing artist Pashur. Pashur is known for his creative body painting which he has been doing for sixteen years at Fantasy Fest and this was his first entry into designing a poster and his design was selected as the official poster this year.


This made his workplace, Paradise Tattoo the perfect venue for the poster signing, which was held there for the first time ever. It was cool as the place was busy with body painting artists at work on the busy Friday afternoon prior to the Maquerade March. I made a quick visit to pick-up a poster before heading home to get into costume myself. Kathy and I were participating in the Masquerade March once again, with me dressing up as Yoko Ono and she as John Lennon.

Kathy and Gae

Erica and Kathy

Once we were in costume we headed over to our friends Wendy and Scott’s place where they were hosting their annual pre-Masquerade March party once again after taking a couple of years off over the past two years. This party is a welcome event for us. It is fun and in a perfect location only a couple of blocks from the starting location of the March near the Key West Cemetery.


It is so nice to be able to see so many of our friends together, is their fantastic costumes prior to the hectic march itself, where you do see a lot of people, but it is so crazy and hectic that you really just see them in passing for a quick moment. Their party is the perfect kick-off to one of the best events of Fantasy Fest.

*Nick Doll photo


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