12 October 2022

KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Vibrantly costumed revelers are to demonstrate their lighthearted mind-set during the Captain Morgan Masquerade March, a lively walking parade set for Friday, Oct. 28. 


The promenade through Key West’s historic Old Town is a focal element of the island city’s Fantasy Fest, a lavish annual costuming and masking celebration set for Friday, Oct. 21, through Sunday, Oct. 30. The 2022 festival is themed “Cult Classics & Cartoon Chaos,” with marchers encouraged to dress as colorful characters from cult films, favorite cartoons and classic offerings in other entertainment genres.


Participating merrymakers typically wear everything from elaborate feathered finery to ensembles inspired by the festival theme. Florida Keys residents have a large presence in the event, sometimes called the locals’ march, as they share their costuming creativity and party-loving spirit with visiting festival fans.


Free to enter and watch, the 2022 procession is to start at 5:30 p.m. at the intersection of Truman Avenue and Frances Street. Participants are to meander through Key West’s Old Town along Fleming Street, stopping for libations at inns and other businesses along the way.


They also can stop at Azur Restaurant at Fleming and Grinnell streets to register and take part in the Masquerade March Costume Contest and photo ops. The Key West Chamber of Commerce has earmarked more than $2,000 in cash and prizes for the top costume competitors.


The fun doesn’t stop even when the colorful march reaches its end at historic Duval Street. An after-march party is planned at the landmark Green Parrot Bar, 601 Whitehead St., featuring the sounds of Experimento.


The march is a prelude to the festival’s anticipated highlight, the Oct. 29 Bud Light Fantasy Fest Parade. Dozens of glittering motorized floats, costumed walking groups and island-style dance troupes are to proceed down Key West’s Whitehead and Duval streets while hordes of spectators applaud the extravaganza.


Masquerade March and festival information: fantasyfest.com

Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY

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