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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Fantasy Fest Costume Contests 2007

TravelVideoTV.com reports on this year's Fantasy Fest festivities:

Entries in previous years have included a group of gigantic dancing Chinese takeout containers and a sea hag driving a 10-foot-tall blue and pink sequined replica steam engine, and competitors in the 2007 Pretenders in Paradise costume competition are expected to dream up equally elaborate and flamboyant ensembles.

A highlight of Key West's annual 10-day Fantasy Fest celebration, Pretenders in Paradise is to take place at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, on an outdoor stage beside Key West Harbor at the Pier House Resort & Caribbean Spa, 1 Duval St. The costume competition is celebrating its 25th year in 2007, and features a theme of "Somewhere Under the Rainbow" to complement the overall Fantasy Fest theme of "Gnomes, Toads & White Rabbit Tea Parties."

Each year, Pretenders draws over-the-top costume entries ranging from solo efforts to multiperson collaborations. Entrants put on full-scale performances, complete with lights and music, to entertain standing-room-only crowds.As well as being a lavish display of the costumer's art, the contest can be extremely lucrative for its winners. Judges award cash prizes totaling $10,000 in categories for professional, amateur and group entries.

Tickets for Pretenders are $28 per person, available beginning Oct. 1 at the Pier House Resort & Caribbean Spa.Exotic as it is, Pretenders is just one of Fantasy Fest's lively lineup of masking and costuming challenges. Set for Oct. 19-28, the festival offers creative spirits a wide variety of opportunities to explore their taste for glitz and glitter, offbeat originality and exuberant design excess. For example, "Mad Hatters" can strut their stuff at the 25th annual Headdress Ball. Set for 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, the Headdress Ball traditionally draws entrants sporting elaborate masks, cowls, bonnets and other headgear -- all vying for cash prizes awarded by local celebrity judges.Themed "Shrooms, Blooms & Mad Hatter Plumes," the gala is to take place under a gigantic tent in the parking lot of the Southernmost Hotel, 1319 Duval St.Between headdress presentations, attendees can enjoy a nightclub-style talent revue featuring top local entertainers. Tickets for the headdress happening are available at www.keystix.com

At least 10 other costume competitions also are scheduled for Fantasy Fest 2007, including the annual "Red Night" Wednesday, Oct. 24, at Fogarty's, 227 Duval St.; and the Southernmost Masked Mania Costume Contest at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, poolside at the Southernmost Hotel, 1319 Duval St.

For more on the happenings this week at Fantasy Fest, check out the official Fantasy Fest website: www.fantasyfest.net

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