Gary McDonald of Key West, Florida, son of the late Dan and Skip McDonald, has been recognized for his creative efforts. His parents retired to Calhoun in 1987 to the McDonald homestead on Sycamore. Bernard dutifully donated his time to help the Calhoun Community during his lifetime.


KEY WEST -- Fantasy Fest's grand marshal used to traverse the parade route waving from a convertible, at eye level with the drunken masses along Duval Street.

It wasn't exactly a grand stage, especially in comparison to the 50-plus floats that followed. But that changed in 2004, when Red Barn Theatre set designer Gary McDonald did the float for that year's grand marshal, Tom Oosterhoudt, a Key West commissioner who also owned the local magazine Conch Color.

"I wanted to do a parody on Lord of the Rings, so we called it 'The Lord of the Wings,' " Oosterhoudt said. "I wanted to be on a large Pegasus. So Gary built me a huge white horse with wings. It was pretty spectacular, 15 feet tall, a monster."

McDonald has been the creative force behind every grand marshal float since, except for 2010 when he was a judge for the float competition.

This week, he has been putting the finishing touches on his ninth grand marshal float, featuring a replica of the Key's most photographed attraction: the Southernmost Point buoy.

Read more here In Key West Designer Creates Perfect Perch