KEY WEST (CBSMiami/FKNB) – Sunny Key West might seem an odd place for creatures of the dark to gather — except during the Fantasy Fest Zombie Bike Ride, one of the highlights of the island’s annual Fantasy Fest costuming and masking festival.

According to organizers, some 11,000 of “the bicycling dead” prowled the island’s Atlantic Ocean shoreline and streets Sunday evening during the eerie yet oddly lighthearted event.

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Many wore “traditional” gory zombie garb paired with scary face and body paint, while others were costumed as everything from evil clowns and skeletons to undead brides in ragged finery.

Standouts included a supersized black-suited skeleton, a sinister “Zombulance,” a fanged conductor propelling a train, a Cirque des Zombies ensemble with a caged “lion” and a towering “Star Wars” transport vehicle pedaled by a white-faced member of the undead horde.

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The marauding zombies biked down South Roosevelt Boulevard beside the Atlantic and into Key West’s picturesque downtown — where the unearthly antics culminated in the annual ZombieFest Street Party on Duval Street.

A 10-day extravaganza, Key West’s annual Fantasy Fest continues through Sunday, Oct. 27.

Other festival highlights include a pet masquerade, the exotic Headdress Ball, themed costume contests and an evening parade scheduled Saturday, Oct. 26, featuring lavish motorized floats and elaborately costumed marching groups.

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