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Fantasy Fest winds down in Key West

Clayton Wheeler, 7 months, of Key West smiles Sunday in his skunk costume at the Children’s Day Festival, created to give kids something to do during the adult-themed Fantasy Fest.

Associated Press

Clayton Wheeler, 7 months, of Key West smiles Sunday in his skunk costume at the Children’s Day Festival, created to give kids something to do during the adult-themed Fantasy Fest.

KEY WEST — The 10-day Fantasy Fest costume and mask celebration ended Sunday with a sedate children's carnival at a local park.

Saturday's late night Fantasy Fest Parade, the festival's highlight, was more risque and adult-oriented. The procession featured nearly 60 lavish motorized floats, bands and marching groups. Some entries illustrated the festival theme, "Habitat for Insanity."

Many parade revelers wore little more than artistically applied body paint, while others dressed as prowling cavemen and flirty nuns.

Parade standouts included a "1600 Insanity Avenue" spoof of politicians' antics, a flock of giant multicolored cuckoos, a float titled Gaga Insanity saluting musical superstar Lady Gaga, a quartet of 15-foot-tall walking puppets and a float starring caged mud wrestlers wearing tiny loincloths.

Barbara Sheckler of Miami joined friends to parody the television show Desperate Housewives, wearing a brief apron and headpiece featuring a colander, eggbeater, turkey baster and other kitchen tools.

"I haven't been able to cook anything in my kitchen for three months because I had all my utensils on my hat," said Sheckler, who said she has attended each Fantasy Fest since its 1979 debut.

Florida Keys residents Sherrie Waltz and Gary Ek, costumed in devilish red finery, starred in a wacky wedding-themed float. They were legally married during the parade, exchanging rubber chickens and rings to symbolize their commitment.

Tourism officials said the festival brings about $30 million in annual revenues to the Florida Keys.

Fantasy Fest winds down in Key West 10/31/10 [Last modified: Sunday, October 31, 2010 11:26pm]

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