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Key's Zombie Bike Ride Draws More Than 8,000 Undead

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KEY WEST (CBSMiami/FKNB) -- Thousands of costumed zombies roamed Key West Sunday evening, but instead of staggering around in classic "walking dead" fashion, they pedaled bicycles along shorelines and streets during the annual Zombie Bike Ride.

A pre-Halloween tradition for families and groups, the sunset ride drew more than 8,000 people garbed in ragged garments, chalk-white face paint and accessories that ranged from tattered tutus to battered top hats.

Standouts included a super-sized zombie "pelican" carrying its long-dead catch, a skeleton fish with fangs and glaring red eyes, and an eerie smoke-breathing "dragon" that flapped its wings menacingly at the crowds.

Other participants portrayed everything from zombie brides in ragged wedding veils to a "steam punk" rider of a giant cog machine.

A woman dressed as a zombie rides a bicycle with a political recommendation during the Zombie Bike Ride Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016,in Key West, Fla. The event attracted some 8,000 costumed participants and coincided with the island's annual Fantasy Fest costuming and masking festival that continues through Sunday, Oct. 30. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY (Steve Panariello/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)

The unruly undead traveled down Key West's Atlantic Ocean beachfront and into picturesque Old Town, ending at the ZombieFest Street Party on famed Duval Street.

The Zombie Bike Ride coincided with the first weekend of Key West's annual Fantasy Fest costuming and masking festival that continues through Sunday, October 30th. The festival offers 10 days of exotic costume contests including a masquerade march that begins at the local cemetery and a grand parade featuring lavish floats and costumed marching groups.

The 2016 festival is themed "Political Voodoo & Ballot Box Barbarians" in an offbeat salute to the upcoming national elections.

The Florida Keys News Bureau contributed to this report.

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