Thousands of zombies take to the streets in Key West

Thousands of zombies take to the streets in Key West -- but instead of staggering around, the costumed participants pedalled bicycles in the annual Zombie Bike Ride.

FLORIDA (REUTERS) - Thousands of zombies took the streets on Sunday (Oct 23), but instead of staggering around, the costumed participants pedalled bicycles in the annual Zombie Bike Ride in Key West, Florida.

The sunset ride drew more than 8,000 people dressed in ragged garments and chalk-white face paint, according to the Florida Keys News Bureau.

The ride included a giant zombie pelican carrying a long-dead catch, a smoke-breathing dragon flapping its wings at nearby crowds and a skeletal fish with fangs and red eyes.

The Zombie Bike Ride coincides with the first weekend of Key West's annual Fantasy Fest costuming and masking festival.

The 10-day event includes a masquerade march and a grand parade with lavish floats and costumed marchers and continues through Sunday (Oct 30).

The 2016 festival is themed "Political Voodoo & Ballot Box Barbarians" as a offbeat tribute to the upcoming US national elections.