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“May the Fourth be with you.” It’s a phrase heard ‘round the world every May 4th, and pretty much anyone with even a basic working knowledge of American pop culture will recognize the pun. “May the force be with you” is essentially the “good luck” of the Star Wars universe, a world with which many Americans are at least passively familiar.
So, on May 4th, plenty of Star Wars-related events pop up across the country. Here are five cities that are noting the day with some truly out-of-the-box commemorations.
In this coastal SoCal city, local breweries are hosting art displays, lightsaber tournaments (for the uninitiated, lightsabers are the weapon of choice in the Star Wars universe), and costume-optional parties. The parties are set to continue into the nighttime with Star Wars dance, jazz, and, of course, Star Wars film screenings. Many of the events are suitable for all ages.
Wichita Falls, Texas
In this northern Texas city, a local tea shop is hosting a Star Wars-themed painting party. The city’s public library will also host its annual Star Wars Day Party, which includes a film screening and kid-friendly snacks. One restaurant is changing its menu for the day to include Star Wars-themed food and drink options. Residents can even sign up for a 5K run in which participants are encouraged to don Star Wars costumes.
In Fort Lauderdale, a Star Wars-themed dance party will rage into the early morning at a prominent cocktail bar, and a similar party will go down at a video game bar. Drag queens, DJs, and burlesque dancers will also honor the film franchise at a popular Fort Lauderdale club. In other South Florida cities, there will be art shows (West Palm Beach), paint-and-sip sessions (Boynton Beach), and even coding classes (also in Boynton Beach).
Leland, North Carolina
This small town just minutes from the massive North Carolina city of Wilmington is going all-in for May 4th. The town’s Parks and Recreation department is putting local government funds into screening The Last Jedi for the year’s first edition of its seasonal Movies in the Park event. Ahead of the screening, the department will host a series of Star Wars-related events for adults and children.
Although Phoenix is one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S., it’s the metropolis’ neighboring cities that are celebrating May 4th in style. In Mesa, a local orchestra will reprise music from Star Wars’ beloved, John Williams-penned score. In Tempe, one movie theater will screen The Force Awakens for a mere $3 and host an all-ages costume contest before the movie begins.
In Phoenix proper, Star Wars celebrations will occur after May 4th. On May 14th, when the San Diego Giants come to town to face the Arizona Diamondbacks, the first 20,000 people in attendance will receive free Star Wars t-shirts.
This year’s batch of “May the fourth be with you celebrations” couldn’t be more timely. Trailers for the final installment of J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars sequel trilogy, The Rise of Skywalker, have just recently started emerging. Watch the trailer here and let us know what you think in the comments!