KEY WEST (CBSMiami) — With Key West clear of warnings and watches related to Hurricane Sandy, officials involved in the island’s annual Fantasy Fest costuming and masking festival have given the green light for events to continue.

At Wednesday evening’s Fantasy Fest Pet Masquerade and Parade, dressed-up dogs, cats, a rabbit, a pot-bellied pig and even an African pygmy goat promenaded across an oceanfront stage Wednesday at the Casa Marina Resort.

The wacky costume competition, designed for barking and meowing revelers and their human companions, is a highlight of the 10-day party that continues through the weekend.

The event drew several dozen entries ranging from pet-and-person duos to animal-and-human ensembles staging choreographed performances.

Among the most exotic participants were a 9-month-old pot-bellied pig costumed as a dragon and an African pygmy goat sporting red devil horns and wings.

fantasy fest pet masquerade 1 Party Animals Cavort At Fantasy Fest Pet Masquerade

“Super Conchs” Stacy Czerwinski, left, and Tim Donald, parade dogs Isabella, left, and Charlotte, right, on stage during the Fantasy Fest Pet Masquerade Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012, in Key West. (Carol Tedesco/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)

Other standouts included two Chihuahuas portraying a mermaid and diver complete with a “scuba tank” and dive goggles, a pair of green-headed “space aliens” in pink tutus escorting a starship with a canine crew, a couple dressed as giant walking conch shells and an eerie ensemble depicting the fictional “Addams Family.”

The Pet Masquerade benefits Lower Keys Friends of Animals.

Fantasy Fest continues through Sunday with events including the Pretenders in Paradise costume competition, a street fair and masquerade march, and the culminating Fantasy Fest Parade set for Saturday night.

Large crowds are expected for the festival’s final weekend, but Keys tourism officials say hotel rooms are still available and suggest that reservations should be made to ensure accommodations.


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