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This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Pet Masquerade 2019

October 23, 2019



Pet Masquerade 2019

This year marks the 4oth anniversary of the very first Fantasy Fest celebration in Key West and there are still a few events that have long been a part of the annual tradition. While most of the Fantasy Fest events are strictly adult only events, there are still a few family friendly events that welcome children. One of the longest running and most beloved events is family friendly and kids are not only welcomed but encouraged to participate, the annual Pet Masquerade to benefit the Lower Keys Friends of Animals.


Held for years at the Casa Marina resort, the Pet Masquerade costume contest moved a few years ago to the Key West Amphitheater, where it has a lot more room and can easily accommodate the large crowd that assembles to watch pets and their owners compete for awesome prize packages.

The event is always a highlight of Fantasy Fest, the ten day extravaganza themed “In Tune But … Off Key” saluting all things musical. Pets and their owners starred in the waterfront competition. The contest featured some 40 entries ranging from costumed pet-and-person duos to groups of people and animals that performed lighthearted dance numbers.

Nancy and Rudie

Among notable entries were “The Tortoise and Hare” featuring a real tortoise carrying plush toy rabbit on top of its shell that was inspired by the classic fable of the same name. Others included a pug dog in a tutu and tiara, a family spoofing the “Toy Story” films and a scurvy crew of human and canine pirates.  Some participants took inspiration from Fantasy Fest’s musical theme, including overall winner, who dressed her two felines as country superstars Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton.

There were all manner of pets in a variety of categories, including a children’s division, which is contested first since the event is held on a school night. There are also pet and owner lookalike categories and an overall winner selected from all the contestants. This year’s highlights included a large group featuring the children of local firefighters along with the new Dalmatian puppy that the fire department recently acquired. The kids were dressed up as the spotted dogs with a 101 Dalmatian theme that was adorable.


Our friends Effie and Cale also entered their recent addition, Chiquita and they were dressed as bananas and went up on stage with the puppy in tow, Hundreds of dogs, cats, ponies, turtles, chickens and more are on hand. Many there just to watch the festivities bring their pets along as well and there is a fun, festive atmosphere all around the grounds of the amphitheater.

Jen and Martina


The event is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Lower Keys Friends of Animals and it is an example of the many positive aspects of Fantasy Fest that often go unnoticed or at least unmentioned and that is how many of the events of the week serve as benefits for various local charities. In addition to being a much needed shot in the arm for the local economy, many local charities are the beneficiaries of funds raised at various events, much of it provided by out of town guests which really helps these organizations get through the year.

Nan and Mark


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