Key West never ceases to make dreams come true, at least for an evening or two. Now, among great imaginative events like Fantasy Fest and Pirate days, there is the beginning of the Mermaid Movement. For several years now, mermaid costumes – especially the glittery tails – have gained great popularity not just with young girls but among women who are creating careers as professional mermaids. As the song goes, “Under the sea, Under the sea, Darling it’s better, Down where it’s wetter, Take it from me.”
Kristi Mills, who owns the The Captain’s Mermaid Boutique, 608 Front St., wants to bring the Mer-movement onto dry land. “People have been asking for this for years and I wanted to create a family friendly event,” said Mills, who grew up in Key West and remembers when Fantasy Fest was more tame. “I want to get back to that love of fantasy and costumes for everyone to enjoy together. And everyone really does love mermaids.”
Mills has founded the Key West Mermaid Festival, along with Ben Hennington, the festival’s director, for next summer. But there is no need to wait for months to get your groove on, as Mills and Hennington have created the first Sirens Masquerade Ball set for Friday, Oct. 12 at The Breakfast Club too, 610 Greene St.
The night promises to be full of surprise. The ball is formal dress but captains and sirens are encouraged to wear unique masks that can be purchased at www.Sea-Shelley.com – a limited number will be available that night. Professional mermaids Waverly and Mariah, from Mills’s pod will be on hand for a complimentary photo and promise to mes-mer-ize the guests. Swim along with entertainment by DJ Sea (aka. DjC) and there will be Mer-mosas, an “Ocean’s Bar” and “Sandy’s Satellite Bar,” hors d’oeuvres and two silent auction tables to benefit – who else? – Reef Relief.
This will be the first of many Mermaid events, along with a Fantasy Fest float and other occasions to be announced soon, leading to the 1st Mermaid Festival next July. Information is at wwwkeywestmermaidfestival.com.