Organizations use annual party to raise funds for local charities

There is always an excuse to drink, but during Fantasy Fest week, there are plenty of places and things to do that help out some of the local charities around town. Party with a purpose at some of these events:

Friday, Oct. 20

  • Royal Coronation of Fantasy Fest King and Queen

The King and Queen of Fantasy Fest will be crowned at Casa Marina this year with the show starting at 6 p.m. The four candidates spent the past eight weeks raising money for AIDS Help, and this year, also Hurricane Irma relief programs. Last year, $330,867 was raised in the event and although this year’s candidates faced hurdles in their fundraising, every penny raised is needed to help community members in trying times. For more information on the event, visit


Friday and Saturday, Oct. 21-22

  • The annual Goombay festival in Bahama Village supports various groups throughout the community. Look for local vendors and raffles supporting local arts, culture, and children’s groups, like one of our favorites, The Bahama Village Music Program.


Monday, Oct. 23

  • Theme Runs constantly supports local nonprofits with runs throughout the year, but the Heroes and Villains 5K supports Key West High School track and cross country team, the Explorers, and Southernmost Coconut Castaways. Superwoman Beth Moyes said the family-friendly event will have costume prizes and awards for all ages., $30 preregister, or $35 day of event.


Tuesday, Oct. 24

  • Florida Keys Council of the Arts Culture Crawl at 2 p.m. at The Oldest House.
  • Poster Signing at WineO, at 5 p.m. at 430 Duval St.
  • Last year’s fundraiser for Florida Keys SPCA brought out some creative animal suits for the humans to enjoy. Called the Cocktails for Animal Tails party, people dress up as their favorite animals, with last year’s top prize going to an adorable snail (it wasn’t just his costume, but his demeanor that won the judges over). Everything from plush costumes to intricate body paint were showcased. The event takes place from 7 to 10 p.m. at Rick’s Complex, 202 Duval St. $25 admission.


Wednesday, Oct. 25

  • The grounds of Casa Marina have been cleaned up post-Irma and will once again be the perfect setting for the annual Pet Masquerade, which supports Lower Keys Friends of Animals. The registration fees, $25, are donated to the charity, and entrants can start signing up at 4 p.m. The animals and their owners will start the judging at 5:30 p.m. The event is free to watch, but there is a $25 VIP area to watch from right by the stage for a closer up look at the adorable pets. The Casa Marina is located at 1500 Reynolds St.
  • Key West Art and Historical Society presents The History of Sex from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Tropic Cinema, 416 Eaton St.
  • The Blue Party taking place at Lucy’s Retired Surfer’s bar supports local ocean-related nonprofit Reef Relief. The $5 admission will be donated to the club to help restore and promote local waters. Lucy’s is located at 320 Grinnell St.
  • The Flying Monkey and Fogarty’s complex will be donating drink proceeds from Tito’s cocktails to May Sands Montessori School and Florida Keys SPCA. The Red Party starts at 9 p.m. and as an added bonus, we heard they were waiving the $5 cover charge for locals this year. They are located at 227 Duval St.


Thursday, Oct. 26

  • The 3rd Annual Smallest Parade in the Universe supports The MARC House. The Monroe Association for ReMARCable Citizens provides dignified care for adult clients with developmental disabilities. This year’s grand marshal of the Smallest Parade is longtime MARC supporter Rebecca Balcer. Also, all bead recycling is being donated to MARC House, so don’t forget to drop those beads in the specialty marked containers after the parade! The Smallest Parade takes place at Key West Theater, 512 Eaton St. with doors opening at 5 p.m. and parade starting at 6.
  • Key West Business Guild supports and promotes gay and lesbian tourism all over the world with its premier event — the 35th Annual Headdress Ball. Peter Arnow, who has been a part of the event for the past 24 years, said he is honored that this is the first event at the newly built Key West Amphitheater at Truman Annex. “It fits right in with our one human family motto and is a longstanding and successful Fantasy Fest fundraising event,” he said. And a major plus: there are five bars to keep the attendees hydrated. The program starts at 8 p.m.
  • The 34th annual Sloppy Joe’s Toga Party has raised money for AIDS Help over the years. The door cover goes to the organization, and don’t worry if you can’t find a sheet to wear, we hear they are selling togas for $10 in the Sloppy Joe’s retail store.


Saturday, Oct. 28

  • Many of the food and drink vendors around the streets support local groups, from the police and fire departments to kid’s soccer on Fantasy Fest Parade night. Keep your eyes open for the ones where tips go to the supporting cause and the volunteers manning the booths.


Sunday, Oct. 29

  • Various children’s organizations benefit from booths at Children’s Day at Bayview Park. The event is from noon to 5 p.m.


Photo Credit: PETER ARNOW/Contributed

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Kristen Livengood is a Marathon High School and University of South Florida grad, mom of two beautiful little girls, and wife to some cute guy she met in a bar. She enjoys red wine, Tito's, Jameson, running (very, very slowly), and spearfishing.