Star Wars fans out in force |

Star Wars fans out in force

by Amy Alonzo
Isabella Aguilera, 8, won the 7-10 year old costume contest category with her"'Rey" costume while her brother, Azrael, narrowly missed with his Han Solo in carbonite creation.
Brad Coman |

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away … Carson Valley residents pulled out their lightsabers and Darth Vader masks to celebrate Star Wars Day.

Star Wars Day is celebrated on May 4 by Jedi and Wookiee fans around the world. The May 4 date is a play on the popular Star Wars phrase “may the force be with you.”

For the second year in a row Valley residents had the opportunity to celebrate the day at Main Street Minden’s “May the fourth be with you” celebration at Minden Park.

“I go to comic book conventions and this seemed like a really fun thing to do,” said Kelsey Endter, 21, of Minden. “I love this. Seeing this whole thing come together, I’m like ‘yes’!”

Endter was dressed as Jedi Rey in a costume she hand-sewed.

“I was really into Star Wars as a child,” she said. “It was my whole childhood.”

In addition to the chance to show off costumes, Thursday’s event featured photo opportunities with characters from the movies, stations for kids to make crafts such as Yoda ears and Wookiee bookmarks, and an array of games.

New this year was a cantina serving adult beverages, food options and a water-play area for kids.

Main Street Minden hosted the first “May the fourth be with you” event last year.

“We thought if we could get 50 people that would be great, and we got over 400,” said Main Street President Bobbi Thompson.

This year’s event drew more than 700 people, said Main Street Executive Director Connie Billington.

Friends Talene Wymer, 12, and Alex Spotts, 12, both of Gardnerville, attended the event dressed in Princess Leia and Darth Vader outfits, respectively.

“I’ve watched all the videos,” he said. “They’re so action filled — lots of explosions.”

“I just love Star Wars,” Talene said. “It’s an awesome series and super interesting. You get so connected to the characters.”

She said she couldn’t decide on her favorite movie in the series.

“It’s really hard to choose,” she said. “They’re all really, really good.”

The next movie in the series, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” is set to hit theaters Dec. 15.