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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!

Monday, November 04, 2019

19th Annual Living Art Expo

October 27, 2019

19th Annual Living Art Expo

Held every year on the Friday night following the Masquerade March, the Living Art Expo at Sunset Pier was celebrating its nineteenth year of competition that features the human body as the canvas. Fantasy Fest attracts many of the leading airbrush artists in the nation every year and this event gives them a chance to compete along with their models/ canvases for cash prizes for the best body art every year.

The event is one of the more popular events of Fantasy Fest, always attracting an overflow crowd to the pier to take in the show. This year was no exception and I arrived about an hour or so prior to the start of the actual competition and hung out in the wonderful backstage VIP area with the contestants and special guests where free drinks and amazing food were available, making it one of my favorite photo shoots of the week.


Of course beautiful people and truly incredible artwork are also a big draw and I had the chance to meet, photograph and hang out with the entrants who come from all over to enter the contest. Some of the people are long time participants but there are always a few first timers who I must say are always my favorite. Nervous but brave individuals just having a great time and enjoying the fun always seem to be having a good time in spite of the seriousness that many bring to the event.

For the first time in memory, the event was marred by a major rainstorm, that had the pier mostly evacuated just after the event was getting underway and while I am sure that they eventually got it going again, I really had all the photos I needed and did not stick around to see the outcome. I was fairly exhausted, still dressed up as Yoko Ono and just wanted to get home to a hot shower and warm bed.


The following day was the biggest day of the Fantasy Fest calendar with the culminating Saturday night parade and I needed to get a good night’s sleep for what was a long, long day and night. Kathy was up early on Saturday and put the final touches on the Mozart’s Orchestra costume she had been working on since July. She along with the entire group of talented and creative people would be leading the parade off as the first float, one sponsored by Fantasy Fest that would set the tone for the entire parade.



Saturday afternoon, we had our friend Daisy drop us up at the staging area for the parade at the Truman Waterfront about three hours before the scheduled start of the actual parade. This is the area where the forty-seven floats and walking groups gather before beginning the official parade. I always love going down to watch the participants marshaling and making their final preparations.

Some, like Kathy’s group, which featured 72 people and a huge variety of floats, instruments and hoopla really only had to put the finishing touches on what they had spent literally months creating. Other groups were scrambling to actually assemble their floats as they sat ready to begin. The fire marshall also has to check each float for safety and all parade participants get a wristband to make sure that only those who have signed up in advance can be part of the parade.




Kelly Jane

Back in the day, some twenty years ago, I was always part of a creative Gonzo group who unofficially crashed the parade every year with inappropriate and politically incorrect floats much like those in the Animal House movie, this year here I was once again about as official as can be wearing an official Fantasy Fest press shirt.

Wendy and Scott

Grand Marshall Coffee Butler with Paul and Crystal



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