By FloridaKeysNewsBureau for SouthFloridaReporter.com, Nov. 2, 2015 – KEY WEST, Fla. — Green-suited space creatures with oversized brains, floats carrying costumed “Star Wars” characters and the star of a classic television series wowed crowds in the 3Wishes Fantasy Fest Parade, the highlight of Key West’s 10-day costuming and masking festival that ends Sunday afternoon.
The late Saturday night parade featured floats, bands and marching groups in elaborate costumes — all proceeding through Key West’s historic downtown in front of about 60,000 spectators, according to festival organizers.
Some parade entries illustrated the festival theme, “All Hallows Intergalactic Freak Show,” including a take-off on the famed “Star Wars” cantina scene featuring characters from the blockbuster film series.
Among other notables were a troupe of Caribbean-style dancers in sparkling feather-decked costumes and a circus float carrying eerie super-sized clowns.
The procession’s grand marshal was Cindy Williams, who portrayed Shirley Feeney in television’s classic “Laverne & Shirley,” waving to spectators from a float designed to resemble a silver rocket ship.
“Shirley Feeney would be so excited to be the grand marshal of Fantasy Fest,” said Williams, who was dressed in a flowing gold robe and tiara. “She’d probably wear a matching sweater set, if she could afford it, and a poodle skirt — but she’d keep the tiara, and Laverne would be jealous.”
Florida Keys tourism officials said Fantasy Fest brings approximately $30 million in revenues to the island chain each year.
Fantasy Fest 2016, themed “Political Voodoo and Ballot-Box Barbarians,” is scheduled Oct. 21-30.