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 week that the 2020 festival, originally scheduled October 16-twenty five, would be canceled to protect versus the probable unfold of COVID-19 (coronavirus). 

The festival normally attracts some 60,000 individuals to Crucial West’s Duval Avenue for its highlight parade, as well as quite a few thousand for its once-a-year Masquerade March, Zombie Bicycle Trip, street honest and costume competitions. 

“With the changing COVID-19 restrictions, increasing cases and recent CDC (Centers for Condition Management and Prevention) suggestions, we have agreed that the most dependable decision we can make is not to host Fantasy Fest in 2020,” reported Nadene Grossman Orr, director of the ten-working day festival. “This was a joint decision with our board of administrators and Crucial West metropolis officers, but it was not an simple 1 given that our island neighborhood and its workforce rely on income produced in the course of Fantasy Fest.”

The festival was proven in 1979 to increase tourism in the course of the normally sluggish drop year. It quickly grew to turn out to be a signature occasion for Key West and has acquired international acclaim for its pageantry, lavish parade floats and no cost-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 practically 50 % of the regional workforce is employed in tourism-connected companies. 

The Keys’ tourism-based financial state and workers have previously been impacted by the COVID-19 disaster because the island chain was shut to readers from March 22 by June 1 in an effort to sluggish the virus’ unfold. Grossman Orr reported festival organizers have developed the Fantasy Fest Fund, which will work with neighborhood-based organizations to raise money for distribution to local workers in require. 

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

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