This 10-day festival was created to market Key West during one of the slowest times for the keys. It was on Halloween day 1978, that Joe Liszka and Frank Romano, a board member of the Tourist Development Association of Monroe County, looked around at the boarded up shops and restaurants and vacant hotels that he decided something needed to be done to bring visitors to the keys during this time of year. The weather in other parts of the country was starting to change and cool off for the fall, but October in Key West offered some of the most comfortable temperatures of the year.
The two men decided that a festival, carnival or some sort of celebration was needed to spice-up and revitalize this traditional 'slack' period of Key West. It had to be unique - something that would bring in visitors from all over the United States... hence the creation of Fantasy Fest, a Halloween Celebration for adults.
Over the years the event has gown to surpass all expectations, turning October and the 10 days of Fantasy Fest into the busiest and most profitable time for Key West.
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