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Key West gets festive with annual Zombie Bike Ride

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KEY WEST -- Thousands of costumed zombies roamed Key West Sunday evening on bicycles along shorelines and streets during the annual Zombie Bike Ride.

The sunset ride drew more than 8-thousand people dressed in ragged garments, chalk-white face paint and accessories that ranged from tattered tutus to battered top hats.

The Zombie Bike Ride is a pre-Halloween tradition for families and groups.

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.

The undead traveled down Key West's Atlantic Ocean beachfront into Old Town ended at the ZombieFest Street Party.

The Zombie Bike Ride coincided with the first weekend of Key West's annual Fantasy Fest costuming and masking festival that continues through Sunday, Oct. 30. 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.