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Presidential Politics Takes Center Stage at Key West Fantasy Fest

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KEY WEST (CBSMiami/FKNB) - Presidential politics took center stage at Key West's Fantasy Fest Headdress Ball - just one of more than 40 events being held during the 10-day festival.

Entrants wearing towering masks and cowls -- some satirizing the upcoming U.S. presidential election -- vied for prizes and glory at the Thursday night event organized by the Key West Business Guild.

Among them were Janet Lee, a Tampa resident, whose massive headgear featured caricatures of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, incorporating the donkey and elephant symbols of their political parties. Donald Allman of Key West was attired in an Uncle Sam ensemble titled "Great American Decision" that featured a huge American flag headdress and encouraged voter turnout.

Fantasy Fest 2016
Janet Lee, right, displays her presidential election-themed headdress at the Fantasy Fest Headdress Ball late Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016 in Key West, Fla. Organized by the Key West Business Guild, the event was one of more than 40 that are being staged during the island city's 10-day Fantasy Fest costuming and masking festival that ends Sunday, Oct. 30. (Rob O'Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)

Other entries ranged from lavish and dazzling to outrageous. Between headdress presentations, spectators were entertained by a talent revue featuring renowned female impersonator Christopher Peterson and top local performers.

Fantasy Fest 2016 is themed "Political Voodoo & Ballot-Box Barbarians" in an offbeat salute to the upcoming election. Event highlights include a masquerade march that begins at the local cemetery and Saturday night's elaborate parade through Key West's historic downtown.

Large crowds are expected for the festival, but Florida Keys tourism officials say a few hotel rooms are still available in Key West and in other parts of the Keys. They stress that reservations are necessary to ensure accommodations.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Florida Keys News Bureau contributed to this report.)

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