Star Wars in Shelburne
Josie Leavitt - June 20, 2011
Father’s Day was celebrated with an out-of-this world party at the Flying Pig with six Star Wars characters from the celebrated 501st Legion, a national organization that volunteers authentic role players to groups who fundraise for worthy causes.
A truly gorgeous day saw almost 200 people come to the Shelburne Town Gym (we wisely decided to hold this event offsite) to meet two Storm Troopers, a Biker Scout, a Snow Trooper, a Clone Trooper, and Darth Vader (complete with movie-authentic breathing; eek!).
Many of the children were in costume. Some kids were ready to meet their heroes without fear, while for others, bravado quickly turned to hiding behind daddy’s leg when the full-sized characters arrived. Little Darth Vaders came in several sizes.
The members of the 501st dress in authentic Star Wars uniforms, to the delight of hordes of fans both young and grown up. They appear at movie premieres, TV news and entertainment shows, and for groups looking to do a little celebrating for a good cause. Our event was a literacy fund raiser for the Stern Center for Language and Learning in Burlington, VT.
While the kids waited for the characters to sweep magnificently into the gym, they did mazes and word searches and other fun activities from DK’s great event kit. We held trivia quizzes and gave out prizes (also from DK’s kit), including keychains, stickers, pins, posters, and magnets. Needless to say, the children were ecstatic with their prizes.
Apparently, all the Troopers are readers, as well. Darth Vader was a careful shopper as were the other Troopers. Seeing the characters read was giggle-inducing every time. Later, they told us they love emphasizing reading to kids, and try to do that at every event where books are present.
How can we indie booksellers not love seeing movie characters avidly reading books?
The 501st Regiment did a wonderful job and the event was a smashing success.
Here they are after the event looking a little tired, but happy. Andrew Liptak, fourth from left, was our coordinator. He helped us book the event and did his best to get more members of the New England Garrison to come with him to the Flying Pig. These folks never got out of costume once during the two hours. They worked hard, were friendly and fun with the kids (and the adults), and had a great time. We couldn’t have been more thrilled, and we can’t recommend the 501st highly enough.
(Note: Josie wrote this post, and then Elizabeth added some pictures and text. So if this sounds like both of us, that’s why. If you don’t like something here, blame it on the other one. Thanks.)
We had the 501st Legion at Hooray For Books! last year, and they were fabulous! We have a hotel across the street from the store, and a bride & groom came over to have their photo taken with the Star Wars crew! Can’t recommend the 501st too highly.
Hi Josie…we met at the Abrams/Tom Angleberger dinner at BEA. Sounds like you had a great event…thanks for all your Star Wars support!
We too have utilized the 501st, with great success! A terrific organization, and very pleasant to work with. We did our event to provide books and toys for the local children’s hospital.
I would definitely do another event with them.