Santa and Mrs. Claus were there. The Grinch was there. A flock of penguins even showed up.

Key West’s annual Hometown Holiday Parade on Dec. 2 didn’t disappoint. Thousands of kids and families lined the sidewalks along Truman Avenue and Duval Street, eagerly collecting the candy thrown from floats.

Local businesses, utilities, city officials, Fantasy Fest royalty, the high school marching band and countless other groups took part in one of the island’s favorite holiday happenings.

Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.