The week of Fantasy Fest all leads up to the great parade on Duval Street. The parade features giant floats, costumes, entertainment and more, with prizes handed out the the best of the rest. The parade is so stunning in its creativity that it draws tens of thousands of people to this area of Key West to see the show.
This year’s Time Travel Unravels parade starts at the Truman Annex “in a wormhole”, then travels through the Big Bang Theory, only to return in “Rip Van Winkle’s Dreams.” Not sure where to watch it? Let’s review your options.
This year’s parade route looks like this. Any balcony that’s a part of the bars or restaurants along Duval Street is usually accessible with a fee, and prices start at $100 and only go up. Tickets are bought in advance. This is an option for those who want a table away from the crowds, access to a bathroom and drink service. Call around ahead of time to reserve a spot.
If you’re looking for a mellow spot to avoid the crowds, try getting a spot right near where the parade starts, at the corner of Greene and Whitehead Streets. If you arrive an hour or so early, you should be able to snag a curbside spot, and crowds are usually 2-deep in this area. Another option is the corner of Eaton and Duval Street, closer toward the end of the parade.
Others who prefer to be closer to the action opt for being part of the big crowd toward the end of the promenade. Some things to know: The parade judges are located near La Te Da, right near the corner of Amelia Street and Duval. This is where the showmanship will be at its peak. Groups on floats vying for different prizes will show the most energy here.
Some tips: the scarcest commodity during the parade is a bathroom. Scope out your options ahead of time. Additionally, travel light! The crowd makes movement difficult, and you don’t want to lug around any bags to further slow you down.