Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter

KEY WEST (CBSMiami/FKNB) — Thousands of costumed revelers promenaded through Key West’s historic Old Town Friday during the offbeat Masquerade March that began at the city cemetery.

READ MORE: Jackson Health Vaccinating Those 12 To 18, Appointments Required

The march was a highlight of the island city’s Fantasy Fest celebration, a lavish annual masking and costuming festival that continues through Sunday with dozens of events.

The 2014 festival is themed “Animeted Dreams & Adventures,” inspired by Japanese anime and other forms of creative animation.

After several days of rainy weather that forced cancellation or postponement of a few festival events, the Masquerade March was staged under bright afternoon sunshine that transitioned into cloudless dusk.

Some participants were inspired by the festival theme, including a troupe carrying a 20-foot-long blue and orange Japanese-style dragon and an ensemble dressed as animated television and comic book characters.

READ MORE: Miami-Dade Schools Offering COVID-19 Vaccinations At Schools For Eligible Students, Their Families, Staff

Other standouts included an exotic walking “butterfly” whose gauzy spangled wings rose 10 feet in the air, a quartet of spider-women with massive tentacles and minimal costumes, a huge blue furred “wolf” on stilts and a man portraying his own framed portrait.

The madcap march was a prelude to the festival’s annual highlight, Saturday night’s Fantasy Fest Parade. Featuring dozens of glittering motorized floats, costumed marching groups and island-style bands, the parade is to proceed down Key West’s Whitehead and Duval streets in front of some 60,000 fantasy fans.

The Florida Keys News Bureau contributed to this report.

RELATED CONTENT:

[display-posts category=”news” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”5″]

MORE NEWS: Stage Nearly Set For Miss Universe Pageant At Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino In Hollywood