• Fantasy Fest’s family night for locals

    No place does Halloween quite like Key West. For 10 days in late October, Fantasy Fest takes over the town, bringing tens of thousands of visitors to this tiny island community. Most of the events are “adult-only” fare, but the Friday night Masquerade Parade is all about the locals.

    Bless her heart, Hurricane Sandy, which gave Key West gusty winds and lots of damp clouds today, passed on in time for clear skies and the promise of a beautiful sunset.

    Thousands of adults — along with their children and pets — gather around the Key West Cemetery. In full costume, by ones and twos, or groups of eight or 10, they walk the streets of The Meadows and into Old Town.

    It’s a light-hearted affair, well-mannered and laughing all the way. Almost as much fun as watching the masqueraded marchers is watching the crowds along the streets.

    One must pity, though, the folks who didn’t get the memo and take to their cars. Oh, my. Not a good idea given the narrow, one-way streets that are a Meadows and Old Town fact of life. Must admit to seeing a handful of drivers brave a collision and a ticket as they headed up one-way streets.

    And at the very end of the parade tonight, bringing up the rear, so to speak were Key West staffers picking up the occasional dropped feather boa, the sparkles and glitter and, yep, a couple of empty beer glasses.

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