Fantasy Fest kicks off annual celebration in Key West

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — Key West's decadent annual Fantasy Fest celebration is kicking off 10 days of masquerade parties, elaborate costume contests, street fairs and other festivities.

The 2019 festival, which begins Friday, is themed "In Tune But . Off Key." Participants are encouraged to design costumes and parade floats to salute all things musical, from rock and reggae to kids' singalongs and Broadway show tunes.

Upcoming events include Sunday evening's Zombie Bike Ride, a costume contest for pets and their people, the exotic Headdress Ball, a masquerade march starting at the Key West Cemetery and the Oct. 26 Fantasy Fest Parade that traditionally attracts more than 60,000 revelers.

Fantasy Fest was conceived four decades ago to bolster tourism during a traditionally slow time of year.

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