The organizers of Key West’s Fable Fest costuming and overlaying pageant introduced Thursday that the 2020 pageant, initially scheduled Oct. 16-25, can be canceled to offer protection to in opposition to the possible unfold of COVID-19.
The pageant generally attracts some 60,000 other people to Key West’s Duval Boulevard for its spotlight parade, in addition to a number of thousand for its annual Masquerade March, Zombie Motorbike Experience, side road honest and gown competitions.
“With the converting COVID-19 laws, expanding instances and present CDC tips, we have now agreed that essentially the most accountable determination we will be able to make isn’t to host Fable Fest in 2020,” mentioned Nadene Grossman Orr, director of the 10-day pageant.
“This used to be a joint determination with our board of administrators and Key West town officers, but it surely used to be no longer a very simple one since our island network and its team of workers rely on income generated throughout Fable Fest,” Grossman Orr mentioned.
The pageant used to be established in 1979 to extend tourism throughout the generally gradual fall season. It briefly grew to turn into a signature tournament for Key West and has earned world popularity of its pageantry, lavish parade floats and free-spirited gatherings of costumed attendees.
In keeping with Florida Keys tourism officers, Fable Fest generally ends up in some $30 million in annual revenues for the island chain, the place just about 50 p.c of the native team of workers is hired in tourism-related companies.
The Keys’ tourism-based financial system and employees have already been impacted by means of the COVID-19 disaster since the island chain used to be closed to guests from March 22 thru June 1 so to gradual the virus’ unfold.
Grossman Orr mentioned pageant organizers have created the Fable Fest Fund, which is able to paintings with community-based organizations to boost cash for distribution to native employees in want.