KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Every dog might have its day, but only in Key West does that “day” include competing in a beachside costume contest specifically designed for party animals.

Dressed-up dogs, costumed cats, bright-plumed birds, pot-bellied pigs and other domestic animals are to strut their stuff in the WKEYZ Pet Masquerade and Parade, set for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean at the Casa Marina Resort & Beach Club, 1500 Reynolds St.

Entrants in the showcase of “animal magnetism” typically range from simple pet-and-person duos to ensembles of multiple animals and humans performing offbeat production numbers. The event is a highlight of Key West’s 10-day Fantasy Fest costuming and masking festival.

Competitors are encouraged to design their costumes around the Fantasy Fest theme of “Villains, Vixens, and Vampires.” Event organizers expect participating creatures of the night to display colorful claws, festive fangs and tantalizing tail-feathers.

Judges traditionally award prizes for the top junior contestants, most exotic attire, best theme adaptation, best pet-owner look-alikes and overall winner.

The animal antics are to be emceed by on-air personalities from Key West radio station and event sponsor WKEYZ 93.5 FM.

Registration for the Pet Masquerade begins at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Casa Marina. The contest entry fee is $25, with proceeds benefiting Lower Keys Friends of Animals.

Viewing of the furred and feathered frivolity is free.

For more information, contact Nancy D’Amato at (305) 296-7511, ext. 104. For a schedule of Fantasy Fest events, visit or call (305) 296-1817.

For information about lodging in Key West, call 1-800-LAST-KEY (800-527-8539) or visit the Keys Web site at