Costume designers are expected to show off their most exotic creations at dozens of masquerade contests, galas, parties, promenades and other events during Key West's annual Fantasy Fest. The 2013 masking and costuming celebration, themed "Super Heroes, Villains... & Beyond," is scheduled Friday, Oct. 18, through Sunday, Oct. 27.
The festival's "headiest" costuming challenge and leading LGBT event is the Headdress Ball, set for 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22, under a gigantic tent at the Southernmost on the Beach, 508 South St. Presented by the Key West Business Guild, the ball is themed "Bizarro Key West" in salute to the island's outrageous flair.
Entrants compete for $2,000 in cash prizes for the most elaborate and lavishly decorated masks, cowls and other headgear. Many are expected to take inspiration from the festival theme, crafting "over-the-top" creations suitable for villainous vixens, heroes of fiction and film, mythical demons or fantasy foes.
The competition typically features celebrity judges and exhilarating entertainment. Between headdress presentations, attendees can enjoy a nightclub-style talent revue featuring top local performers and female impersonators.
Doors open at 7 p.m. for costume viewing and the show, hosted by Key West actor Tom Luna, begins at 8 p.m.
To purchase tickets for general admission and reserved tables, visit www.keystix.com.
Fantasy Fest also provides many other opportunities for attendees to indulge their taste for glitz, glitter and design excess. Costumed characters are to star in a buccaneer bash, tantalizing toga party, masquerade contest for pets and their people, redneck revel and more.
Headdress Ball information: www.headdressballkeywest.com, www.gaykeywestfl.com
Fantasy Fest information: www.fantasyfest.com
Key West visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
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