NEW ALBANY — Unfortunately for local fans of Star Wars, May the Fourth was with nobody but those at Churchill Downs and around the country tuning into watch the Kentucky Derby this year.
Instead, adults and children alike settled on May BB-8th to dress up as their favorite characters and celebrate the third annual Star Wars Day at Silver Street Park.
This year is particularly meaningful to fans of the universe, as Episode IX will bring the Skywalker Saga to an end when "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" releases on Dec. 20.
Star Wars Day is part of series called Geek Streak, which hosts three events throughout the year.
"We have Superheroes Day in March, we have Star Wars Day in May, and we have Harry Potter Day in July," Geek Streak organizer Heather Williams said. "That genre was kind of lacking in this area, and being a huge nerd and geek, I wanted to bring it to the community. Everybody's really seemed to take to it."
Williams said the first celebration in 2017 exceeded expectations, and has grown each year since.
"That first year, we were just expecting maybe 100 people," Williams said. "I think we had somewhere around 200, so our numbers doubled. The kids really seemed to love it. Every year since then, we've had more and more groups who want to jump on board and try to make this a big community event. It's pretty cool."
For this year's event, Williams said the focus was on Jedi versus Sith — light versus dark — as well as paying homage to Peter Mayhew, who passed away April 30 after portraying Chewbacca for nearly 40 years.
"We have a whole Sith Dynasty group that will be here along with our Jedi Academy," Williams said. "This year, I also wanted to reiterate the Chewbacca soundalike contest just because of Peter Mayhew's passing. Hopefully, we can get a good turnout for that in his honor."
Perhaps no character embodies the battle between light and dark as much as Kylo Ren, which is who 5-year-old Tanner Hobson dressed as for the night. Last year, Hobson won the costume contest as Darth Vader.
"If I can use the force in me, maybe I can win again," Hobson said. "I can try to use a force choke and then throw everybody up in the air. Darth Vader is my favorite. Every time I see him, I act it out."
Siblings Dominic Gerde, 6, and Elaina Gerde, 3, also came in full costume for the event.
Dominic, who came dressed as his favorite character Poe Dameron, said he is excited to see Episode IX in theaters with his family.
Elaina did her best impression of Princess Leia throughout the night.
"Princess Leia is my favorite because she's a princess," Elaina said. "All I like is princesses."
Carrie FIsher, who passed away in December 2016, will make her final appearance as Leia in the upcoming film.