Key West’s Fantasy Fest Canceled Due to COVID-19 Concerns

The organizers of Crucial West’s Fantasy Fest costuming and masking festival announced this 7 days that the 2020 festival, initially scheduled October 16-25, would be canceled to protect towards the opportunity distribute of COVID-19 (coronavirus). 

The festival generally attracts some sixty,000 people today to Crucial West’s Duval Street for its emphasize parade, as nicely as quite a few thousand for its annual Masquerade March, Zombie Bike Trip, avenue truthful and costume competitions. 

“With the shifting COVID-19 rules, growing cases and latest CDC (Centers for Sickness Manage and Avoidance) recommendations, we have agreed that the most responsible choice we can make is not to host Fantasy Fest in 2020,” explained Nadene Grossman Orr, director of the 10-day festival. “This was a joint decision with our board of directors and Crucial West city officers, but it was not an easy a single considering the fact that our island community and its workforce depend on revenue produced all through Fantasy Fest.”

The festival was set up in 1979 to boost tourism all through the generally slow tumble year. It quickly grew to become a signature party for Key West and has earned worldwide acclaim for its pageantry, lavish parade floats and absolutely free-spirited gatherings of costumed attendees.  

In accordance to Florida Keys tourism officers, Fantasy Fest typically results in some $30 million in annual revenues for the island chain, exactly where approximately fifty per cent of the regional workforce is utilized in tourism-similar businesses. 

The Keys’ tourism-primarily based economic system and workers have currently been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis because the island chain was closed to readers from March 22 through June 1 in an effort to slow the virus’ distribute. Grossman Orr explained festival organizers have produced the Fantasy Fest Fund, which will work with community-primarily based corporations to raise money for distribution to local staff in need to have. 

Fantasy Fest 2021 is scheduled October 22-31, 2021.

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