Revelers dressed as leering evildoers, stalwart action heroes and other captivating characters paraded through Key West's historic Old Town and downtown Friday and Saturday, Oct. 25-26, during the anything-goes Fantasy Fest Masquerade March and Captain Morgan Fantasy Fest Parade.
With the annual Halloween festival ending Oct. 27 with a Children’s Day -- the parades are pretty much anything but! -- the 2013 theme was "Super Heroes, Villains... & Beyond." Fantasy Fest features more than 40 colorful events during its 10-day frenzy.
The Masquerade March drew spirited bands and merrymakers wearing everything from feathered masks and dazzling costumes to finery inspired by the annual festival theme. Participants depart from the Key West Cemetery on Frances Street.
Past years’ participants have included wild-eyed zombies in tattered garb, a male quartet in matching Wonder Woman costumes and a group of "crab people" wearing little more than oversized orange "claws."
The march is a prelude to the annual festival highlight, the Oct. 26 Captain Morgan Fantasy Fest Parade through Key West's downtown district. The glittering procession included dozens of elaborately decorated floats, costumed marching groups and high-energy bands.
Endurance swimmer Diana Nyad, who on Sept. 2 became the first person to swim from Cuba to the Florida Keys without a shark cage, was the parade's grand marshal.
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Next year’s Fantasy Fest is set for Oct. 17 - 26, 2014.
Soon, parade float winners will be posted at www.fantasyfest.com.