10-day Fantasy Fest underway in Key West

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The flamboyant Fantasy Fest has begun in Key West, kicking off a 10-day schedule of more than 40 costume contests, masquerades and processions.

At Friday night’s Coronation Ball, island residents Shane Hall and Mary-Lynn Price were crowned festival king and queen. Aspiring royals campaigned by raising money for the Florida Keys-based AIDS Help organization, amassing more than $229,000.

Fantasy Fest events include a costume contest for pets, a Headdress Ball and a masquerade march. The theme “Animeted Dreams & Adventures” salutes a style of Japanese film animation.

The festival’s highlight is an Oct. 25 parade. Its grand marshals will be Key West bartenders Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones, who launched a landmark challenge to Florida’s same-sex marriage ban.

Republished with permission of the Associated Press.