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Key West's flamboyant 10-day Fantasy Fest is relatively tame for law enforcement authorities


KEY WEST, Florida — For all the alcohol, nudity and carousing that highlight Key West's annual Fantasy Fest, law enforcement officials say the 10-day festival is relatively tame.

Key West Police Capt. J.R. Torres tells The Miami Herald ( ) that only a handful of violent incidents have marred the festival since 1979.

Deputies from Monroe and Orange counties, Florida Highway Patrol and state and federal law enforcement officers help Key West police patrol the crowds that have grown to more than 40,000. The city has just 25,000 residents.

The patrols also include bomb-sniffing dogs and police horses.

Fantasy Fest organizers pay many officers to work off-duty details.

Last year just seven arrests were made during the festival's main parade. The charges included grand theft, trespassing, resisting without violence and battery, along with drug-related charges.

Information from: The Miami Herald,

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