By FloridaKeysNewsBureau For EyesOnNews.com, Oct 25, 2014 – KEY WEST, Florida Keys — With a rain-producing weather system moving away from Key West, thousands of costumed revelers are expected to parade through the island city’s historic Old Town Friday evening during an offbeat Masquerade March.
The march is a highlight of the island city’s Fantasy Fest celebration, a lavish annual masking and costuming festival that continues through Sunday with more than 40 events. The 2014 festival is themed “Animeted Dreams & Adventures,” inspired by Japanese anime and other forms of creative animation.
Since Wednesday, some festival events have suffered cancellations or postponements because of consistent rainfall triggered by a complex weather situation involving a decaying frontal boundary over South Florida and the Keys, according to Andy Devanas, the meteorologist-in-charge at the Key West National Weather Service office.
But the system is moving away from the area, clearing skies for the Masquerade March and other events including Saturday night’s highlight parade.
The Masquerade March typically draws high-spirited revelers wearing feathered masks, costumes and finery inspired by the festival theme.
Starting outside the Key West Cemetery, participants promenade along two routes, stopping for libations at bed-and-breakfast inns along the way and winding up near the Fantasy Fest Street Fair on mile-long Duval Street.
The madcap march is a prelude to the festival’s annual highlight, Saturday night’s 3Wishes.com Fantasy Fest Parade. Featuring dozens of glittering motorized floats, costumed marching groups and lively island-style bands, the parade is to proceed down Key West’s Whitehead and Duval streets in front of some 60,000 fantasy fans.