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KEYS OFFER LIVELY CALENDAR OF EVENTS FOLLOWING WILMA'S PASSAGE

Image 1 - Stephen Tiffenson of Oakland, Calif., works his 20-foot-high "Muthamba the Witch Doctor" at the Pier House Pretenders in Paradise Costume Competition. The beginning of Fantasy Fest has been postponed to Wednesday, Dec. 7. Photo by Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau

Stephen Tiffenson of Oakland, Calif., works his 20-foot-high "Muthamba the Witch Doctor" at the Pier House Pretenders in Paradise Costume Competition. The beginning of Fantasy Fest has been postponed to Wednesday, Dec. 7. Photo by Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau

Image 2 - Australian Daniel Watkins, 2005 Australian Pro Tour Wakeboarding champ, is to chase the U.S. title in Marathon. The Wakeboard event has been delayed to Dec. 2-4.

Australian Daniel Watkins, 2005 Australian Pro Tour Wakeboarding champ, is to chase the U.S. title in Marathon. The Wakeboard event has been delayed to Dec. 2-4.

Image 3 - This troupe of stilt walkers has become a Key West Goombay parade tradition. The Goombay celebration is now scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2-3.

This troupe of stilt walkers has become a Key West Goombay parade tradition. The Goombay celebration is now scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2-3.

FLORIDA KEYS - With the flexibility and resilience characteristic of Florida Keys residents, event organizers throughout the island chain are back at work on special events following the passage of Hurricane Wilma.

Key West's Fantasy Fest is among events forced to reschedule by Wilma.

Organizers of the outrageous annual masking and costuming festival have announced that its new start date is to be Wednesday, Dec. 7, with events continuing through Saturday night, Dec. 10.

Although the festival's official theme is "Freaks, Geeks and Goddesses," some Fantasy Fest fans are jokingly referring to the event as "Wilma's Freaks, Geeks and Goddesses."

For more information about Fantasy Fest, visit the festival's Web site by clicking here or call 305-296-1817.

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More than 100 pirate re-enactors are to invade the historic port of Key West during the Pirates in Paradise Festival, now through Sunday, Dec. 4.

Among land-and-sea spectacles scheduled during the 10-day buccaneer bash are a maritime battle fought by Key West's historic tall ships, living history encampments featuring entertainment and wares by pirate re-enactors, a "Literature and the Sea" workshop, swashbuckling events for children and the staged re-creation of the trial of notorious female pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read.

For a comprehensive schedule of Pirates in Paradise activities click here.

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Key West's Goombay celebration, a Caribbean-flavored street festival in the island city's historic Bahama Village, is to take place from noon to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2 and 3. Originally set for Oct. 21 and 22, the popular event was rescheduled following Hurricane Wilma's passage.

Each year the festival attracts thousands of people who view and purchase African arts and crafts, sample foods and delicacies from a variety of cultures and countries, and enjoy live musical entertainment ranging from gospel to reggae.

For more information about Goombay and a schedule of festival events click here.

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Snow in the Florida Keys?

Only at Founders Park, MM 87 in Islamorda, Dec. 2-3 at the First Annual Florida Keys Holiday Festival, organized by the Islamorada Chamber of Commerce.

Chamber members promise a 30-foot-high community holiday tree with fallling snow through its branches as carolers gather round to sing traditional holiday songs. The event also features a holiday parade with floats, bands and antique cars as well as an arts and crafts holiday bazaar.

More details from the chamber at 1-800-FAB-KEYS.

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The 2005 Tige U.S. Pro-Am Wakeboard Championship, originally slated for Oct. 21-23, has been rescheduled for Friday through Sunday, Dec. 2-4.

Some of the world's best wakeboarders are expected to compete in the Marathon competition, the final contest of the 2005 season. The format will be head-to-head rider elimination finals in the competition, which is to be held at Sombrero Beach, near MM 50 in Marathon.

For more information or to register, call 407-405-0121.

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Visitors and Keys residents are invited to celebrate the joys of art and music at Big Pine Key's Winterfest 2005: Art & Music in a Natural Key. The event is to be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, at the Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce, MM 31 oceanside.

Highlights are to include live music, exhibits and booths featuring the original work of artists and craftsmen, raffles of artwork, and vendors offering food and beverages. For information click here or contact the chamber office at (305) 872-2411.

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The December calendar in the Florida Keys & Key West also include a wide variety of events celebrating the holiday season.

Highlights are to include the Dec. 11 Key Largo Christmas Boat Parade click here for info; Schooner Wharf Bar/Captain Morgan Lighted Boat Parade in Key West click here for info and New Year's Eve celebrations throughout the island chain.

For information about the Florida Keys and a complete calendar of upcoming events, explore this web site.

Posted On: December 3, 2005

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