A Guide for First-Timers

We understand how intimidating it can be to go out in public for the first time. Believe us; we do. We also know that fear is our enemy. There’s no need to be afraid in Provincetown. It’s one of the most accepting places on earth; that’s why Fantasia Fair is held there! Since Fantasia Fair’s inception in 1975, hundreds of trans people have made their first appearance in public in Provincetown, and thousands have spent the entire week as the person they wish to be. Our attendees conquer their fear and have a great time, and you will, too! We’ve worked hard on resources to help Fair attendees. Feel free to avail yourself of them. When you finish reading this page, just bop on over to our Contacts page. You’ll find links in the various sections below, also.

Our Website

This website will help you to understand just what Fantasia Fair is and how it can benefit you. More than that, it will help you plan your trip. What should you bring? What shouldn’t you bring? How in the world will you get to Provincetown? Where will you stay? Will people laugh at you? Ignore you?  Will you meet others? Will they like you? How should you behave? You’ll have a thousand questions, and a thorough perusal of this site will answer many of them for you. Study the schedule, once it’s up (usually around June), and look at your meal choices when they go up in early September.

Fantasia Fair Schedule of Events

Be sure to visit the site every now and again to check for news and updates. That will keep you in the know.

News and Updates

Remember– the earlier you register, the lower the price! We have a discount for Canadian citizens, and a discount for spouses and significant others.

Register for Fantasia Fair

Fantasia Fair on Facebook

The Fair maintains an official page on Facebook. You can visit to see announcements and updates. It’s an official source for press releases.

Visit the Official Fantasia Fair FaceBook Page

  We also have a discussion group on Facebook. Please join. There you can chat with other Fair-goers. Don’t be shy. The other members will be happy to answer any questions you might have. Ask to join; A moderator will approve you within hours. You can visit the page by clicking on the Facebook symbol at the top or botom of every page on this site, or by clicking the button below.

Fantasia Fair Discussion Group

Fantasia Fair on Twitter

Did you know Fantasia Fair has a Twitter handle? Yes, we do! We’re soooo twenty-first century!  Our handle is #FanFairNow. It’s a place to go for the latest information. During Fair week, the Twitter feed will be filled with last-minute changes in schedule and venue, lost items, and people trying to find other people to go to dinner with them. You can visit by clicking the Twitter symbol (the bird) at the top of this and every page, or the larger symbol at the bottom of the page–or just click the button below.

Visit #FanFairNow on Twitter!

Bulletin Board

Before the Fair you can use the Fantasia Fair Discussion Group as a virtual bulletin board. During the Fair, there will be an actual bulletin board in the Fair office at the Boatslip, 161 Commercial Street. For fast responses, we suggest you use it and our Twitter handle #FanFairNow.

FanFair Newsletter

Throughout the year, we publish monthly newsletters newsletters full of news and information about the Fair. You can jump on over to the Mail Chimp site and sign up; just click on the button below. Don’t worry, your e-mail will not be used for any other purpose than distribution of the newsletter. If you don’t wish to sign up, just select the News tab on this site; you’ll see the newsletters there. During Fair week, we produce FanFair Gazette, a daily newsletter. Each day’s edition includes a schedule with the latest updates and tidbits about the Fair. We make them available at lunches and at the Fair office.

Sign Up for the Fair Newsletter

Mentoring Program

Our mentoring program has historically been called Big Brother/Big Sister, but that didn’t work for nonbinary people. We are now simply using mentor, as Big Sibling sounds sort of dorky. Whether you’re trans or nonbinary or genderqueer, we’ll do our best to match you with someone appropriate. Your mentor can help you before the Fair by chatting with you on Facebook or by e-mail or perhaps by phone. They’ll answer your questions and give you moral support. At the Fair, they can help you find the courage to come out of your room and get to that event you’re dying to go to. They’ll help you with your appearance and wardrobe, if you wish, and introduce you to other Fairgoers.

Our mentoring program for significant others is facilitated by Jolie LaValle. Mentoring for trans and nonbinary attendees is facilitated by Tina Simmons. Tina and Jolie will compile a list of requests and assign appropriate mentors in September. When will be available to answer your questions and offer moral support in the weeks before the Fair.

Jolie and Tina will be announced at the orientation brunch and will be available there and throughout the Fair to offer emotional and social support, and, of course, advice, if you want it.

To request a mentor, check the appropriate box on the registration form, or send an e-mail to mentor@fantasiafair.org.

 

Request a Mentor

Monday Morning Orientation

On Monday morning, October 15, 8:45 am, plan to be at the Paramount Room at the Crown & Anchor, 161 Commercial Street for our sumptuous and leisurely orientation brunch. Sit at a table with others and introduce yourself, fill you plate at breakfast buffet, and chat with your newfound friends. After you eat, tour the tables, saying hello to others. It’s the perfect way to make others aware of you and sow the seeds of friendship.

Some time around ten, Dee LaValle will begin the orientation. She will introduce key personnel and go through the many activities of the Fair. Pay attention, and you’ll have the tools you need to plan a full and fulfilling Fantasia Fair.

When the orientation ends (about 11:15 am), a number of things will happen:

Volunteer Planning

First, volunteer coordinator Emily Sheldon will hold a brief meeting with Fairgoers who wish to give back to Fantasia Fair. We need people to keep counts at lunches, collect tickets at our evening events, make deposits at the bank, and help us take down the Fair office on Saturday afternoon. Please consider attending! The meeting will take place in the Paramount Room

Meet Your Mentor

Second, mentoring program coordinators Jolie Lavalle and Tina Simmons, who will have been pointed out to you during the orientation, will meet with those who have asked for a mentor and those who have signed up to be mentors. You’ll be introduced to your mentor. This meeting will also take place in the Paramount Room. If you didn’t ask for a mentor but think you might want one, please attend. (We used to call our mentoring program our Big Brother / Big Sister program, but some attendees identify outside the binary. Mentor is non gender-specific and works for everyone.)

Walking Tour of Provincetown

At 11:30 am, Provincetown historian and Fantasia Fair favorite Robert Anderson will conduct a walking tour of Provincetown. The city has a fascinating history. Did you know the pilgrims’ first landing was less than a mile from where you just finished breakfast? That playwrights Eugene O’Neill and Tennessee Williams once lived in Provincetown? You will after Robert’s your walk with Robert! The tour will end at about 12:45 pm.

Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum Self-Guided Tour

From 11:30 through 4:00 pm on Monday and 9 am – 4 pm daily, the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum will be open for self-guided tours. The Monument is of course that big sticky-uppy thing you can see from everywhere in town. The view from the top provides a panoramic view of Provincetown and a great photo opportunity. The museum is filled with exhibits that illustrate the very things Robert will be talking about.

If you’re torn between the PMPM and Robert’s Tour, don’t worry– there will be plenty of other opportunities to visit the museum and monument. On Friday from 3:00 – 4:30 pm, retired police sergeant and long-time friend of Fantasia Fair Carrie Lopes will conduct a guided tour. You won’t want to miss that!

The monument and museum are located at 1 High Pole Road. Use the PMPM ticket you received at registration, and admission is free.

Plans are underway to build a funicular that runs from the frieze on Bradford Street to the Museum. It’s scheduled for completion before the 2019 Fair, but for now you must get there by taxi, auto, or on foot. It’s not that much of a hike, thankfully. If your car is parked, remember: taxis are cheap and plentiful at Fantasia Fair.

Significant Others Lunch

Partners and spouses of trans and gender-nonbinary attendees will meet at noon at the Lobster Pot Restaurant, 321 Commercial Street for a dutch treat lunch. Usually partners form a group and walk with coordinator Jolie LaValle from the Paramount Room.

Registration

If you arrived late on Sunday or early Monday, the Fantasia Fair office will be open Monday from 11:45 am until 1:00 pm and 3:00 – 5:00 pm, and from 9:00 – 11:00 and 3:00 – 5:00 pm the rest of the week (closed Saturday afternoon, but please drop by to help tear down the office). The office is at the Boatslip Inn, 161 Commercial Street.

 

Monday Afternoon Reception for Newcomers

We’re pleased to announce a reception for newcomers from 5:30 – 7:00 pm on Monday afternoon at the Fantasia Fair hospitality suite at 306A Commercial Street. We will provide snacks and non-alcoholic drinks. Please BYOB if you wish.

306A is open from 10:00 pm through 1:00 am Tuesday through Saturday. Please drop by for conversation, snacks, and music.

Morning Meet and Greets

Tuesday through Saturday, we feature morning meetings that can help orient first-time attendees. From 9:00 – 9:45 am there is a meet and greet for trans and nonbinary attendees of the Fair, facilitated by Cody Suzuki and Tina Simmons and held downstairs at the Boatslip, 161 Commercial Street (there’s an elevator if you need one).

Concurrent meet and greets for significant others, facilitated by Jolie LaValle, are held in Room 201 of the Crown & Anchor, 247 Commercial Street. Just go up the ramp and take the stairs or elevator upstairs. Room 201 is at the top of the stairs, to the left.

Both meetings are great places for first-timers to meet and get to know returning attendees, and vice-versa. We will have coffee service at both of the meet and greets.

Note: Friends of Bill W. meetings also run concurrently, but are a bit longer, ending at 9:55. They’re held across the street from the Crown & Anchor in the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House, 236 Commercial Street. If you’;re unfamiliar with the term, it’s a twelve-step program that helps people stay sober.

Our Late-Night Gathering Place

If you find yourself wound up after hours and needing to talk, make your way to Roomers, our late night gathering place at 306A Commercial Street. It’s an apartment with snacks and drinks and plenty of new and returning fellow Fair-goers to chat with. Please notice the tip jar on the kitchen table. Your donations will do toward buying snacks and soft drinks.

More About Roomers

The Pink Fog

The Always Entirely Serious Liz Winter Displays Her Prize at the Silent Auction.

The Pink Fog is a term historically used by Fantasia Fair to describe a state of exuberance exhibited by many first-time attendees. Being free to be the person you have always wanted to be, for an entire week and in complete freedom, is empowering and exhilarating. Many attendees, and especially first-timers, return home in a state of rapture. Our Pink Fog workshops discuss this state of bliss and suggest a cooling-off period before making life-altering personal decisions.

Long-time Fair attendee Liz Winter will be facilitating two workshops on the subject. The first, Look Out for the Pink Fog, will be on Wednesday, October 17, from 10:00 – 11:30 am in Suite 201 of the Crown & Anchor, 247 Commercial Street. The second, Lost in the Pink Fog, is scheduled for Saturday, October 20, from 3:00 – 4:30 at 306A Commercial Street

Liz will describe the pink fog and its effects and encourage attendees to describe feelings that have arisen during the Fair.

The pink fog affects transmen and nonbinary genderfolk just the same as it affects transgender women. We know it’s not an appropriate name, and will soon be renaming it, but you have to admit it’s pretty cool. We mean no disrespect as we continue to use the name as we try to come up with an equally cool and more socially correct term. Thank you for bearing with us.

Allana's First-Time Experience

Here’s a short booklet produced by attendee Allana after her first Fair. The Fair’s structure has changed in some ways (for instance, all activities are now within easy walking distance), but otherwise, it’s entirely relevant.

Allana’s Guide for First-Timers

So, you see, you’ll have plenty of encouragement and support. That doesn’t mean it will be easy, but we guarantee it will be worthwhile. See you on the streets of Provincetown!