Will the potential for rain keep the Fantasy Fest crowds in Key West this weekend to a mere 60,000 people versus the 80,000 seen some years? The stalwart and optimists already are headed south. No matter which parade or both one attends, the craziness will no doubt be spectacular, rain or shine.
To see my slide show from last year’s Friday, 5 p.m. Masquerade Parade, visit knotmove.com/florida-keys-travel-in-miami/fantasy-fest-masquerade-pa… and clikc on through.
For more info on Saturday’s event, keep reading!
Lavishly decorated floats, costumed characters, bands and elaborately garbed marching groups are to make a splash on Key West’s Duval Street Saturday, Oct. 29, during the Captain Morgan Fantasy Fest Parade. The glittering parade is the traditional highlight of the annual Fantasy Fest masking and costuming celebration, this year from Friday, Oct. 21, through Sunday, Oct. 30.
Tens of thousands of spectators are expected to throng Key West’s historic downtown for the parade. Floats and costumes are to showcase the 2011 festival theme of “Aquatic Afrolic,” with organizers encouraging entrants to draw inspiration from real and imagined denizens of the deep, shipwrecked seafarers, mermaids’ mayhem and undersea worlds. Many entries typically include music, moving parts and elements that tower over the crowd.
Standouts in the 2010 parade included a “1600 Insanity Avenue” spoof of politicians’ antics, a flock of giant multicolored cuckoos, a quartet of 15-foot-tall walking puppets and a devilish wedding float whose two riders were legally married during the parade.
Fantasy Fest’s 2011 pre-parade activities begin at noon Saturday with the open-air Duval Street Promenade. Promenade vendors are to offer masking and costuming finery and accessories as well as food and libations, while live entertainment adds a high-energy flair to the festival frolic.
At 7 p.m. the parade is scheduled to begin at the intersection of Southard and Whitehead streets. Floats, bands and other parade participants are to travel down Whitehead toward the Gulf of Mexico, turn onto Front Street and then proceed the mile down Duval to the Atlantic Ocean.
Event information: www.fantasyfest.net
Key West visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
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