(How Nadene Grossman Orr should dress for Fantasy Fest)
Key West is a party town with one helluva party planner. Nadene Grossman Orr has become the ultimate superhero organizing Key West festivals and events, and for the first time taking on the biggie, Fantasy Fest. The 2017-2018 season will be monumental for Orr, starting with Fantasy Fest and also the King & Queen kickoff event & Royal Coronation Ball. In April, she will tackle The Vintner’s Dinner and The Taste of Key West and lastly, in May, The Key West Songwriters Festival. No stranger to important occasions (793 weddings and counting), Orr’s company, We’ve Got The Keys, will now offer “incentive travel planning” for corporate and social groups. She isn’t just planning the party, she is making sure everyone comes to it as well. A Fantasy Fest Queen, or “Queenie,” in 2013, Orr is still reigning in Key West. A wife, mother, business owner and host to 100,000 Fantasy Fest goers, Orr certainly deserves an invisible jet and lasso.
Do you have a life credo or motto? No Risk, NO Reward!
What is something you never thought would happen in your life, and surprisingly changed everything? The birth of my daughter Meredith is a true miracle … she will be 3 years old this month.
What’s one thing you have yet to achieve on your “bucket list,” and one thing you did achieve? I’d like to do something musically famous and, since I’m not a musician, I have no idea how that is going to happen BUT it’s on my list nonetheless! I am incredibly proud that I followed my entrepreneurial spirit and took the leap starting my own business in 2004.
Which TV, movie or superhero character is your alter ego? Kermit the Frog.
What is your nerdiest passion? Clipping coupons.
If you were invisible, what would you do in Key West? Sit in on meetings of big business owners and politicians in town. I like to know what makes then successful and what influences their actions.
What’s an exciting change to this year’s Fantasy Fest? My goal was to bring back creative costuming, art, and getting local businesses involved in the Street Fair on Friday and building floats for the parade. I’m having brilliant conversations with long-time participants such as Bourbon Street & 801, Hard Rock, Margaritaville, Ocean Key Resort and Key West Business Guild’s Headdress Ball. I’m thrilled to say some of this year’s new and returning event partners include Green Parrot, Kelly’s Caribbean, We Cycle & Zombie Bike Ride, The Florida Keys Council of the Arts, MARC House, The Smallest Parade, Mary Ellen’s, The Custom House, San Carlos Institute, The Studios of Key West, and so many more! Oh, and we are going to recycle Fantasy Fest Beads with the MARC House; stay tuned for more info on that!
How many weddings have you planned? What was the worst disaster? I have 793 weddings under my belt! I have had a bride pass out three times during ceremony, groom fall through glass coffee table, a bride call off the wedding, a groom call off the wedding, a father of the bride call off the wedding and a dove release “poop” all over the bride. All. Over. But I also have so many wonderful couples whom I still keep in touch with and watch their families grow and catch up when they come back to visit Key West!
For lunch with one famous person, whom would you choose? Walt Disney
Finish these sentences:
My friends and family would describe me as … funny, creative, connected, hard working, a great mom and busy!
My autobiography would be titled … “Confessions of a Key West Event Queen.”
One secret I shall never tell … what I’m really thinking while I have my “Game Face” on!
When I go, I will go … having made a positive impact on my little corner of the world and beyond!
“Organizing this year’s Fantasy Fest, I am so grateful for the knowledge of the past; we have an amazing team and luckily, they listen to my crazy ideas.”
— Nadine Grossman Orr, We’ve Got The Keys