The exotic parade typically includes more than 50 decorated and motorized floats, many towering high above the watching crowds and featuring music, light shows and oversized moving parts. Accompanying them are island-style bands, marching groups and street dancers garbed in elaborate sequined and feathered costumes.
Standout entries in the 2017 Fantasy Fest parade included a prehistoric “Flintstones” ensemble featuring a huge dance troupe of “cave people” waving lighted “bones,” and a group blending a prancing 50-foot-long dragon and a green-and-purple depiction of Poseidon the sea god.
For the 2018 procession, event organizers encourage participants to draw inspiration from the festival theme, embracing amusements from old-style board games to online role-playing challenges. Floats might depict Donkey Kong countries, the StarCraft galaxy, role-playing realms or captivating CandyLands.
Pre-parade activities are to start at noon Saturday with the open-air Duval Street Promenade. Its fantasy antics for merrymakers include vendors offering masking and costuming finery, food, libations and live entertainment.
At 7 p.m. the parade is to begin at Southard and Whitehead streets. Glittering floats, bands and other participants are to travel down Whitehead toward the Gulf of Mexico, turn onto Front Street and then proceed the mile up Duval to the Atlantic Ocean.
Organizers expect the parade to draw more than 60,000 people to enjoy the role-playing revelry.
Event information: fantasyfest.com
Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
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