Thousands of masked and costumed partiers promenaded through Key West’s Old Town during the free-spirited Fantasy Fest Masquerade March, a lively prelude to Saturday night’s elaborate grand parade.
Beginning at the Key West Cemetery, the Friday evening march was a highlight of the annual 10-day costuming and masking festival that continues through Sunday.
Among notable participants were several dancing orange dinosaurs, two white-wigged men portraying wedges of wedding cake, a quartet of fiercely battling bumper cars and a flock of oversized pink flamingos.
Some marchers wore costumes inspired by the 2017 Fantasy Fest theme, “Time Travel Unravels.” Standouts included Key West’s Daniel Bitnar, dressed as the dove of peace in a lavish spangled and feathered ensemble, who spread huge wings as a troupe of “time travelers” advocated harmony.
Saturday night’s Fantasy Fest Parade is expected to draw some 60,000 revelers to Key West’s historic downtown. Each year the parade features dozens of elaborate motorized floats, exotically costumed walking groups and island-style bands.
Fantasy Fest concludes Sunday after a children’s carnival and an afternoon dance party.