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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!

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Bud Light Fantasy Fest Parade 2019

October 27, 2019



Bud Light Fantasy Fest Parade 2019

For the 4oth year, the culmination of the Fantasy Fest week of activities had been the main parade that is held on the final Saturday night. This year the Bud Light Fantasy Fest Parade once again started at the Truman Waterfront Park taking Southard Street to Whitehead turning left down Whitehead to Front then right to Key West’s main drag where it turned right onto Duval Street and made its way down the length of Duval from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean.

Along the way it passed a massive crowd estimated at around 60,000 people who line the parade route, often waiting for hours after grabbing their favorite spot. The weather on parade night was warm and humid, but the rain that had hit some events earlier in the week was nowhere to be seen and the crowd was excited to see what was a return to form in the realm of Fantasy Fest parades.


The parade had improved previously, pretty much as soon as the folks at We’ve Got the Keys took over management and has been getting better and better each year as their creative team, led by the amazing Marky Pierson has reenergized the entire experience and brought a return to the brilliant creative locally made floats that once dominated the event.

With the new creative energy, cash prizes doled out by the Key West Chamber of Commerce and a general overall feeling that Fantasy Fest is on the upswing, the mood both prior to and during the parade was markedly improved and everyone was in a festive mood as the start time of 7 PM approached.

I made my way down to the viewing area to await the arrival of the first float, which Kathy was one of the seventy-two people who created what was one of the most amazing floats in many years of Fantasy Fest. Sponsored in part by Fantasy Fest, thus not eligible for any of the awards, the float, “Mozart’s Orchestra” had been the brainchild of Chistine Fifer and a wonderful group of some of the most talented and artistic people in Key West.



The massive undertaking has been under construction since July and everyone in the group created stunning all handmade, all creative and wonderful costumes that were under strict rules as far as design, color palate and character that helped creative an amazing overall effect. Kathy was one of the violinists and they had just about every musical instrument included and Mozart himself directing the massive orchestra. It was a thrilling effect and kicked off the parade just as the organizers had hoped.

Bre and Dave

The parade had a number of truly special floats including the overall winning float, once again by the Big Pine Fluffers, who always come up with a spectacular vision. There were a number of other great floats as well, many of them in keeping with theme this year of “In Tune, But Off Key: Celebrating 40 years of Fantasy Fest.” Floats with rock stars and musical icons were abundant and for the most part, really really excellent.

WeBeFit once again had a stellar entry this year, with a Willy Wonka theme that featured characters from the beloved film and book including Willy Wonka and a crowd of Oompa Loompas. They were fantastic, but so many of the entries were truly top notch and there seemed to be less of the rental floats with near naked krewes simply tossing beads as in years past.

All in all it was a terrific conclusion to the festival. Kathy and I both had an amazing time and it reaffirmed my love for the artistic and creative aspect of our island community home. As a cool sidenote, during the parade our friend Carol snapped a photo of Kathy that was picked up by the Associated Press and was the one photo out of the many, many thousands shot that was featured in newspapers across the country, including in the “USA Today”. Pretty cool.


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