The Florida Keys & Key West

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Key West’s Headdress Ball Set to Dazzle Audiences Oct. 26

KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Merrymakers can show off their most creative, extravagant and colorful masks and headdress regalia at the 35th annual Headdress Ball set for Thursday, Oct. 26, at the new Key West Amphitheater at Truman Waterfront Park.

Combining entertainment and creative competition, the ball is the premier LGBT event of the subtropical island’s 10-day Fantasy Fest celebration. 

The gala typically features about 25 contestants showcasing their original headdresses — some that tower high above their wearers. 

The VIP audience is to judge participants as they compete for cash prizes including a first-place award of $3,000. Although most entrants are costumed from head to toe, participants are judged from the waist up only, focusing on their headdresses.

As part of the Headdress Ball’s opening activities, Key West Mayor Craig Cates is to dedicate the new Key West Amphitheater. The combined ball and dedication are projected to draw an audience of 500 people.

Gates open at 6:30 p.m., providing opportunities for spectators to meet and photograph the headdress entrants. 

The celebrity line-up includes master of ceremonies Tom Luna, DJ Rude Girl and renowned entertainer Randy Roberts opening the 8 p.m. show. Other local performers are to offer over-the-top entertainment between headdress presentations.

The Key West Business Guild, one of the oldest LGBT business organizations in the U.S., has produced the ball since its inception. The event serves as a major annual fundraiser for the organization.

General admission tickets are $30 per person, with reserved tables for four people starting at $250. To purchase tickets, visit keystix.ticketforce.com

Event information: headdressballkeywest.com, gaykeywestfl.com, fantasyfest.com

Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY

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