02 October 2015
FLORIDA KEYS — Quirky and laid-back year-round, the Florida Keys turn to mischievous mayhem come Halloween. Hauntings are to take place in the island chain from the northernmost outpost of Key Largo to mile marker (MM) 0 in Key West, the southernmost city in the continental United States. Here is a sampling of spooky events in the Keys.
Divers can earn prizes and praise for creating the most unique jack-o’-lanterns during the 18th annual Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest set for Saturday, Oct. 24. Hosted by Amy Slate’s Amoray Dive Resort, MM 104.5 bayside in Key Largo, the contest is open to all certified scuba divers. While underwater, two-person teams are to carve pumpkins into imaginative jack-o’-lanterns for chances to win prizes from first to third place. The fee is $85 per diver for the two-tank, two-location dive, and teams are encouraged to sign up early since space is limited. For details, visit www.amoray.com or call 800-426-6729.
Brave children can venture into Crane Point Hammock’s Creepy Carnival starting at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30. The eerie event, located in Marathon at MM 50, is to feature spooky special guests like the Bearded Lady, Crazy Clowns and Wolfman. Geared toward youngsters age 12 and under, the fright-filled fun is free to the public. Visit www.cranepoint.net or call 305-743-3900.
The historic U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Ingham, docked at Key West’s Truman Waterfront and operating as a maritime museum, will host an interactive experience titled “King Neptune's Curse: Aliens vs. Coast Guard.” The Coast Guard and attendees will battle “aliens” trying to take over the USCGC Ingham. Each compartment will have various challenges for attendees to complete to “protect” the ship.

Shows are scheduled each evening Oct. 22-30 except Oct. 26 and 29. Tickets are to be on sale beginning at 7:30 p.m. and gates open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 per adult, $10 per person for active military personnel and $8 per child age 12 and under. Closed-toed shoes are required.
For information, visit www.facebook.com/events/895954350489622/
Revelers can dress up or down at daily and nightly events during Key West's annual Fantasy Fest, set for Friday, Oct. 23, through Sunday, Nov. 1. The 2015 festival is themed “All Hallows Intergalactic Freak Show” and includes 10 days of masquerade balls, costume contests, parties and uninhibited escapades, all climaxing in the epic 3Wishes.com Fantasy Fest Parade Saturday, Oct. 31.

The festival’s traditional Children’s Day offers food, games, rides, arts and crafts and a costume contest for attending kids. The family fun takes place Sunday, Nov. 1, from noon to 5 p.m. at the island’s Bayview Park at Truman Avenue and Eisenhower Drive.

For Fantasy Fest information, visit www.fantasyfest.com. For Children’s Day details, call 305-292-8912.  
Artists and creative spirits are to display unique miniature floats in Key West’s “Smallest Parade in the Universe.” The PG-13 event is set for 5-9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, at Key West’s newest microbrewery, Waterfront Brewery, located at 201 William St.

Creativity is encouraged and floats cannot exceed a length or height of 18 inches or a width of 12 inches. Each float’s visuals and theme must be “PG-13” rated.

The tiny floats will be displayed on a specially crafted replica of Key West’s Duval Street and projections will be flashed on the “street” to make them look like full-sized parade floats.

The event’s proceeds are to benefit the Monroe Association for ReMARCable Citizens, a nonprofit that provides life services for Monroe County’s adult developmentally and intellectually disabled residents.
Spectator tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased at www.keystix.com beginning Oct. 1. For more information, visit www.thesmallestparadeintheuniverse.com or www.marchouse.org.
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