KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Costumed revelers are to exhibit their wildest fantasies during the Captain Morgan Fantasy Fest Parade, set for the night of Saturday, Oct. 30.
The highlight of Key West’s Oct. 22-31 Fantasy Fest celebration, the lavish parade is to transform the island’s infamous Duval Street into an open-air “Habitat for Insanity,” illustrating the costuming and masking festival’s 2010 theme.
The flamboyant parade typically includes more than 50 decorated and motorized floats, many towering two stories high and featuring music, light shows and oversized moving parts. Accompanying them are Caribbean bands, marching groups and street dancers garbed in extravagant sequined and feathered costumes.
The procession’s grand marshal is “tropical rock” singer/songwriter Howard Livingston, star of the upcoming cable television program “Key West Time,” who will perform live from the lead float.
Standout entries in the 2009 parade included a float with a massive sculpted witch’s head that rose more than 30 feet into the air, an oversized barbershop quartet dressed to emulate the film character “Beetlejuice” and a castle full of disco-dancing Draculas and their victims.
For the 2010 parade, Fantasy Fest organizers encourage float and costume designers to draw inspiration from the “Habitat for Insanity” theme, portraying everything from maniacal monsters to bats in the belfry.
The festival’s pre-parade activities are to begin at noon Saturday, Oct. 30, with the open-air Duval Street Promenade. The exuberant insanity is to include vendors offering masking and costuming finery, food and drink, spirited live entertainment and costumed merrymakers galore.
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. Past years’ parades have drawn more than 60,000 spectators.
For more information and a complete schedule of Fantasy Fest events, visit www.fantasyfest.net.
For information about lodging in Key West, call 1-800-LAST-KEY (800-527-8539) or visit the Florida Keys & Key West website at www.fla-keys.com.