Masquerade March 2012
October 27, 2012
Michael & Kathy
* Photo by Nick Doll
Masquerade March 2012
The penultimate event of Fantasy Fest week is the annual Masquerade March, which for many years held the title as our favorite event of the week. It is still pretty awesome, but recent additions to the line-up such as the Tutu party and Zombie Bike ride have pushed passed the march and relegated it to third or fourth on the list. Still it ranks among the best and most fun events of the year and Kathy & I still enjoy it.
Erin & Chris
Kathy & Michael
Wendy & Tony
The event has grown massively and now thousands of costumed revelers take part in the march, which begins next to the Key west cemetery and follows two routes through Old Town that eventually re-unite on Duval Street, blending in to the Street Fair which is ongoing through the entire day.
The event used to be where you would see the most local involvement, as the parade was overwhelming a local event in past years. Recently though, its popularity has spiked with the tourist crowd and while the numbers of locals may have remained steady, the tourist numbers have almost overwhelmed the local participants and it has just changed the feel of the thing slightly.
Jevne & Chris
Andy & Suzy Jo
Julie & Michael
Not that locals do not turn out en masse. In fact one of the best parts of the event for us is the pre-parade party that our friends Scott and Wendy have hosted in recent years. Here a huge crowd of our friends gather in costume for a pre-party and to prepare for the annual march. And while we all will eventually become strung out and separated along the parade route, at the party we all have a chance to hang out and even get a group photo taken.
Keeping of our Masquerade March theme of recent years, Kathy & I continued to dress as Disney characters. This year – she dressed up as Peter Pan and I was a large, fat Tinkerbell. The costumes seemed to go over well and people enjoyed our concept. A large man dressed up as a fairy seems to bring out the laughs in a lot of people, but the funniest thing was the large number of small children who wanted to get their photo taken with a fairy princess.
The weather was about perfect, unlike the blazing heat of last year as we began the march and headed toward the more popular Fleming Street route. Along the way, we passed countless friends both in the parade and along the path watching all the fun. It was as crowded as I have ever seen it in 20 years of participating and the march took a lot longer than usual. Drinks were plentiful along the route as many guest houses hand out free drinks for participants; which simply adds to the revelry.
The march wrapped up for us (as many nights do) at the bar at the Porch where we hung out and closed out the final night before the big Fantasy Fest parade. It was a good time and we had a pretty great time, already thinking ahead about crazy Disney characters to dress up as next year.