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A Star Wars Cinco de Mayo in Stowe Rocks

on Thu, 05/02/2013 - 09:51

Everybody loves a good pun, even the British. When Margaret Thatcher was elected the first female Prime Minister of England on May 4, 1979, the headline of the London Evening News declared, “May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie,” a witty take on the classic Star Wars line, “May the Force be with you.” During the decades that followed, Star Wars fans across the globe began uttering the phrase themselves on May 4th of every year, resulting in not only the popularity of the phrase but making the day an unofficial holiday for follows of the George Lucas saga. Despite the designation, very few organized events have actually occurred on May 4th, with the first taking place in Toronto in 2011. Two years later, however, Pittsburgh finally has its own “Star Wars Day” celebration at the Parkway Theater in Stowe Rocks.

“I was planning on having a Cinco de Mayo Party at the movie theater, and someone I was talking to noticed that the date I picked was May 4th,” Aaron Stubna, owner of the theater, explains. “He mentioned I should throw a ‘May the Fourth Be with You’ party. So I thought why not combine the two events and throw one unique party—Cinco de Mayo the Fourth Be with You.” Cinco de Mayo, which is Spanish for the “fifth of May,” is a yearly celebration of Mexican heritage and culture, and combining the two unofficial holidays does indeed offer the opportunity for a truly unique occasion.

The Star Wars/Cinco de Mayo Party begins at 4:30pm on Saturday, May 4th, and runs to 7pm at the Parkway Theater, located at 644 Broadway Avenue in Stowe Rocks. Admission is $8, and everyone in attendance must be twenty-one or over. A Taco Bar will provide a selection of meat and black bean tacos, chips, salsa and queso, while a DJ will spin both Mariachi and Latin music for entertainment. Mexican beer and margaritas will also be available at the cash bar. The Star Wars-spin on the festivities, meanwhile, includes a Darth Vader piñata and a lightsaber instead of a wooden stick to hit it with. Aaron Stubna also hopes a large portion of the expected crowd comes dressed in Star Wars attire.

Star Wars came out on my birthday, May 25, 1977,” Stubna says of his own personal Star Wars experience. “I turned six years old. I was instantly hooked. I had all the toys, and can still remember the fresh rubbery smell of their capes/cloaks when you first open the package. I was so excited when my youngest child got into the Star Wars films—I got to relive my childhood and loved to explain the movies to him when he had questions. I loved buying the action figures for him for birthdays and Christmas. Most times I would buy a few for myself and put them in the attic. I needed to rebuild my collection since my mother threw all of it away many years ago.”

Aaron Stubna is more than just a Star Wars fan, however, but a movie aficionado in general, and purchased the Parkway Theater through his non-profit group, Community Reel Arts Center, in 2011. “We want the Parkway Theater to be the definitive cinema of choice for film lovers and filmmakers alike,” he explains. “Community Reel Arts Center will get you excited about learning more about the films you see, showing a variety of domestic independent films, documentaries, and foreign films. This theater will celebrate ideas and promote appreciation and understanding of film.”

The Parkway Theater in Stowe Rocks is also a great place to celebrate Star Wars Day and Cinco de Mayo with their unique twist on these two unofficial holiday—“Cinco de Mayo the Fourth Be with You.”

Anthony Letizia (May 2, 2013)

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