Floridas Fantasy Fest in Key West an Uninhibited Extravaganza
By Paul Beaudette
Every year the Saturday before Halloween the southern most city hosts a costume party and parade that rivals only Madi-Gras in New Orleans,enticing attendees to abandon everyday cares for a fantasy escape.
With more than 40 masquerade balls,celebrations and costume contests,the 10 day festival culminates in a dazzling parade ,in front of one hundred thousand people down historic Duval Street.
The Royal Coronation Ball ,kicks it of friday,oct. 22 to crown the king and queen of the festival.The Caribbean roots are celebated that same weekend with the Goombay street party in the Bahama Village neighborhood,a food and dance celebration.
Tuesday the fun starts with the Headdress Ball,this is where you start to see some elaborate head gear ,featherd turbans, the best masks,cowls ,and anything that covers the cranium competing for prizes.
Wednesday the pets get into the act with the Pet Masquerade and Parade, dogs, cats, exotic birds and other "party animals"all dress in their best costumes to strut their stuff. The costume competetions continue on Thursday with "Pretenders in Paradise",a lavish ball with glittering costumes ,some so large you wonder how they can hold them up,dancing through awed spectators to featured lights and music.
Friday starts the parade weekend and the anticipation starts to build,venders are dressed in their colorful costumes,feathered masks,the festival atmosphere with body painting stations,artistry,food, along with key wests shops and old town feel has a fantastic flavor. Just before dark the outrageously costumed characters,march along Duval St. to dazzle the crowd.
Saturday,the insanity reaches maximium intensity as thousands of spectators gather for the Captain Morgan Fantasy Fest Parade.The floats and costumes seem to push the costume creators and mask makers to the limit and creative insanity is usually the norm.
The festival is not just limited to Key West,every tiki-bar and restaurant ,in the florida keys,has a function or party going on during that week and if you have never made it down,put it on your bucket list.
The next time your some where and you say to yourself, hey! thats a cool bathing suit,Oh! Oh!thats not a bathing suit thats body paint,you'll know where you are.
Paul Beaudette is an avid fisherman, traveler and owner of a Ramrod Key Vacation Rental,if you would more information you can visit his websites at... http://your-travel-store.com/ http://flakeysfishin.com
More Articles by Paul Beaudette
More Articles about Florida
More Travel Articles
Views expressed in the article are those of the author and are not necessarily the opinions of CaribbeanChoice, its staff or members.