Organizers of Key West's biggest yearly party — Fantasy Fest — announced Monday the cancellation of the annual parade and the street fair on Friday and Saturday, Oct 29-30.
Festival director and producer Nadene Grossman Orr, with We've Got the Keys, posted the following on her Facebook:
"We cannot look into the future, but we can certainly see what is happening in our community today, and the impact that the new variant of COVID-19 has made. We stand by our request that you only attend Fantasy Fest if you are fully vaccinated. We hope that you will abide by our COVID policy and do your part to make the decision to participate based on your own personal wellbeing."
According to Grossman Orr, Friday's Masquerade March — also known as the Locals Parade — is being placed on "hold," noting organizers will make a determination at a future date whether it can be hosted safely.
In her post, Grossman Orr stressed that Fantasy Fest is not canceled, but said it will "look different this year," pointing out there will be a schedule of events hosted in and around Key West at numerous venues.
Fantasy Fest visitors should be prepared with masks, proof of vaccination or a negative test, as venues may enforce their own rules for entry to their events. 'Key West and the Florida Keys are open for business and our festival partners are looking forward to welcoming you," Grossman Orr said.
"They are already working diligently to keep their operations safe and their staff healthy. Please do your part as we continue to navigate the best way to gather safely in October."
For information, visit the Fantasy Fest website, http://www.fantasyfest.com.
The Key West City Commission is expected to address upcoming special events in Key West when they meet Wednesday at 5 p.m. at City Hall, 1300 White St.