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GalaxyFest returns to Colorado Springs: 'Think of Comic-Con but a whole lot more'

February 26, 2015 Updated: February 27, 2015 at 2:25 pm
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photo - Laura Masias has to be "restrained" by Bill Stewart during Galaxyfest III on Sunday, February 23, 2014. The science fiction/steam punk/horror fest attracted large crowds at the Antlers Hilton Hotel this weekend.  (The Gazette/Jerilee Bennett)
Laura Masias has to be "restrained" by Bill Stewart during Galaxyfest III on Sunday, February 23, 2014. The science fiction/steam punk/horror fest attracted large crowds at the Antlers Hilton Hotel this weekend. (The Gazette/Jerilee Bennett) 

10 a.m. Friday-11:30 p.m. Sunday, Antlers Hilton, 4 S. Cascade Ave.; $25-50; galaxyfest.org.

Say you got ahold of the teleporting machine from the movie "The Fly" and filled it with every genre convention you could think of - comics, anime, steampunk, sci-fi, etc. Fire it up, and GalaxyFest would be the hybrid mutant that comes out the other end.

"Think of a Comic-Con but a whole lot more. People will be dressed up as any kind of character, from steampunk to superhero to zombies, to whatever you want to dress up as," said Michael Bliss, founder of Blissfest333 and the GalaxyFest Film Festival. "We'd love for people to dress up and come in costume. Anything goes."

The three-day, multimedia festival is expected to draw as many as 5,000 people to the Antlers Hilton, said Bliss, who stepped in to help coordinate after the death of its founder, David Wacks. This theme this year is "A New Hope," a nod to "Star Wars" as well as to Wacks' continuing legacy.

"He was my mentor and best friend," said Bliss, who worked with Wacks to support the local community and artists through the nonprofit organization Eclectic Galaxy. "I'm absolutely amazed by what he's done. In a matter of four years, it's become the biggest com in Colorado Springs."

The festival features vendors, midnight movies and a round-the-clock gaming room, as well as a zombie run, scheduled artist and author panels, performances and celebrity guests, including Michael Copon and other actors from the "Power Rangers" children's TV series. Ed Kramer will discuss his work as a Hollywood visual effects artist on the "Star Wars" prequel trilogy, among other blockbusters. Tickets to the film festival, which is being held concurrently and includes screenings and panel discussions, can be purchased separately.

"We're doing a 'maker's room' with different hands-on activities, where you can build and make things, and on Sunday, we are devoting it to family fun day. With an adult, the kids get in free," Bliss said.

After-hours is for the adults, though, with evening features including a lingerie and swimwear show, burlesque performance and kilt blowing with Copper Penny and The Wild Wenches of Denver. "I've never been," said Bliss, "but it seems the ladies really like it."

Stephanie Earls, The Gazette, stephanie.earls@gazette.com

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