KEY WEST (CBSMiami/FKNB) – Thousands of costumed revelers hit the streets of Key West Friday night for a Masquerade March as a prelude to Saturday night’s lavish Fantasy Fest Parade.

The group started at the Key West Cemetery and went through the historic Old Town.

The march was a highlight of the annual 10-day costuming and masking festival which continues through Sunday.

Slide Show: View images of the Masquerade March

Notable marchers included a “101 Dalmatians” group with costumed “puppies” staging a dance number, a trio of archangels with huge white-feather wings and a flock of men sporting fluffy pink tutus and flamingo masks.

While the Masquerade March attracted about 10,000 participants, Saturday night’s Fantasy Fest Parade is expected to draw some 60,000 party-goers to Key West’s historic downtown, festival officials said.

Diana Nyad, who recently swam from Cuba to Key West, is to lead the procession of elaborate motorized floats, costumed walking groups and island-style bands.

With more than 40 events, Fantasy Fest concludes Sunday with a children’s carnival and an afternoon dance party.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Florida Keys News Bureau contributed to this report.)


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