Strong northerly winds from Hurricane Sandy have forced officials of Fantasy Fest to cancel the Pretenders in Paradise Costume Contest scheduled for Thursday night.
High winds coming off the water onto the harbor front stage at the Pier House Resort & Caribbean Spa in Key West would pose safety risks to entrants with large costumes.
All other events for Fantasy Fest, Key West's 10-day party that ends Sunday, are proceeding according to schedule, Fantasy Fest director Linda O'Brien said.
Strong northerly winds from Hurricane Sandy have forced officials of Fantasy Fest to cancel the Pretenders in Paradise Costume Contest sheduled for Thursday night.
We have been and will continue to work closely with local officials and the Key West National Weather Service office to ensure revelers are safe, she said in a statement.
A tropical storm watch is not expected for Key West and the Lower Keys, Key West meteorologist Bill South said.
If tropical storm force-winds do reach the Upper Keys portion of the 130-mile island chain, they should be minimal of around 40 mph from 8 p.m. Thursday through 8 a.m. Friday, Rainfall also is expected to be minimal, at about one to two inches for that time period, South said.
Key West International Airport is operating normally, but the runway will only close if winds exceed 45 mph, airport director Peter Horton said.
Motorists in the Keys should use extra caution while driving on exposed roads and bridges during periods of high winds.
The forecast for the festivals main parade night on Saturday is clear and breezy.