May 19, 2024

Eurocean 2004

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

The organizers of Key West’s Fantasy Fest costuming and masking competition announced this week that the 2020 competition, initially scheduled October 16-25, would be canceled to protect from the potential spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). 

The competition typically draws some 60,000 persons to Key West’s Duval Road for its highlight parade, as perfectly as quite a few thousand for its once-a-year Masquerade March, Zombie Bike Ride, road fair and costume competitions. 

“With the switching COVID-19 polices, escalating cases and current CDC (Facilities for Disorder Command and Prevention) suggestions, we have agreed that the most accountable decision we can make is not to host Fantasy Fest in 2020,” said Nadene Grossman Orr, director of the ten-working day competition. “This was a joint decision with our board of directors and Key West town officers, but it was not an effortless a person because our island community and its workforce depend on profits created in the course of Fantasy Fest.”

The competition was founded in 1979 to boost tourism in the course of the typically gradual fall season. It quickly grew to become a signature function for Key West and has attained international acclaim for its pageantry, lavish parade floats and cost-free-spirited gatherings of costumed attendees.  

According to Florida Keys tourism officers, Fantasy Fest typically results in some $30 million in annual revenues for the island chain, where practically 50 p.c of the nearby workforce is utilized in tourism-related businesses. 

The Keys’ tourism-dependent financial system and workers have presently been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis because the island chain was shut to guests from March 22 by way of June one in an exertion to gradual the virus’ spread. Grossman Orr said competition organizers have designed the Fantasy Fest Fund, which will work with community-dependent companies to raise money for distribution to local personnel in want. 

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

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