Zombie Bike Ride Draws More Than 6,000 Undead

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KEY WEST (CBSMiami/FKNB) — Several thousand costumed “creatures” pedaled through Key West during the Zombie Bike Ride that concluded the opening weekend of Fantasy Fest, the Florida Keys’ first major special event since Hurricane Irma struck the island chain Sept. 10.

More than 6,000 participants biked along the beaches and streets of the island city wearing dead-white face paint, gory tattered garments typical of zombie lore, and offbeat accessories that ranged from top hats to tutus.

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Barry Gibson, left, costumed as the grim reaper, carries a Federal Emergency Management Agency sign while riding in the Fantasy Fest Zombie Bike Ride Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, in Key West, Fla. (Rob O’Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)

Among standouts in the Sunday evening event were a “grim reaper” carrying a FEMA sign, a reference to the Federal Emergency Management Agency that provides disaster assistance; a strange flock of zombie-flamingo hybrids and a swashbuckling pirate whose bike platform held his “skeleton crew.”

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In this Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, bicycle riders roll during the Fantasy Fest Zombie Bike Ride Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, in Key West, Fla. (Rob O’Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)

Other notable participants included passengers in a ferocious fanged cart, a bride and groom who looked like cemetery escapees and enough eerie clowns to populate a circus.

The spooky cyclists traveled a route along Key West’s Atlantic Ocean shore and into a section of picturesque Old Town — culminating in the ZombieFest party on famed Duval Street.

The Fantasy Fest costuming and masking festival continues through Sunday, Oct. 29, with dozens of masquerades, themed parties and costume competitions — all highlighted by an Oct. 28 parade featuring elaborately decorated motorized floats.

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A costumed reveler cycles in the Fantasy Fest Zombie Bike Ride Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, in Key West, Fla. (Rob O’Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)

Keys tourism officials report that there are still rooms available for Fantasy Fest, but encourage making reservations before traveling to the festival.

(©2017 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. It def was NOT 6000 this year. This was the smallest crowd we’ve seen in the last 5 years.

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