Something for every age at KeyFest

Carnival will return in July with expanded Kid’s Zone

Staff writerJuly 2, 2014 

This year, KeyFest will feature more activities for children. Community feedback gathered showed the need for more all-ages fun. The annual festival is celebrating its 13th year.

GATEWAY FILE PHOTO

The purpose of KeyFest is to celebrate life on the Key Peninsula. That’s why organizers emphasize homegrown entertainers and vendors.

“We want to showcase our area; it’s a community fair,” said Brandy Ellzey, president of the this year’s organizing committee.

KeyFest is celebrating its 13th year. This year it runs from July 11-13 at Gateway Park, 10405 SR 302. The event is sponsored by Peninsula Light Company.

Ellzey, 41, has lived on the Key Peninsula her entire life. She first got involved with the fair as a vendor, collecting donations for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Three years ago, she joined the organizing committee.

Listening to the community is so important for the organizers.

Last year, as per community input, organizers brought back the carnival. The attendance from the previous year increased five-fold, Ellzey said, more than 2,500 people. Including vendors and entertainers — who did not pay for entry — about 3,000 people attended, she said.

This year, the festival features an expanded children’s area to give options for all ages. There will be a reptile exhibit, trout pond, sandbox and more.

“The carnival games kind of fit and 8-to-adult range,” Ellzey said.

The entertainment and food excite Ellzey. She said there will be about 90 vendors at the fair, featuring booths with food, information and merchandise.

“I think we’ve got a great lineup of entertainment on the stage and a really great variety of food coming to the fair,” she said.

General admission to the fair, which applies to those age 12 and older, is $8. Youth tickets are $5 and admission is free to anyone shorter than 42 inches.

Carnival ride all-day passes are $19 or rides are $1 each. Entertainment inside the festival is free.

For more information on the fair, visit keyfair.org.

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