News / Community / 12th May 2022
Storm troopers invade Coona
Coonabarabran was overrun by Storm Troopers, Darth Vader’s, Princess Leia’s, a few Wookies and extraterrestrials from galaxies far, far away over the weekend for a celebration of intergalactic proportions.
After three years of trying to make the Dark Sky Awakens festival a reality, event co-organiser, Dave Hunter said it was a massive relief to see it finally come to life.
Mr Hunter said everyone involved had an amazing experience.
“Everyone I spoke to over the weekend expressed a desire to return,” he said.
“COVID stopped us a couple of times from holding the event and, to be honest, I think the effects of it were still felt as people opt not to travel.
“So, while we were pretty happy for the turn out for our first event, I think it will be bigger next year.”
Laser tag was a popular festival event, with sessions held at the Coonabarabran Sport and Recreation Centre on Friday and Saturday, where teams battled it out for bragging rights. There were, however, quite a few participants complaining of sore muscles the following day!
On Saturday morning, members of the 501st Legion, fully decked out in Star Wars-themed costumes, conducted a meet-and-greet in John Street, with many fans, young and old, grabbing a photo with their favourite characters, while Sons of Obiwan ran a series of light saber workshops throughout the morning.
With good food, good company and good entertainment, over 100 attendees danced the night away at the cabaret night on Saturday, Bowie Unzipped, featuring Jeff Duff, put in a stellar performance.
The Mother’s Day Classic fun run on Sunday attracted over 60 participants, many decked out in pink in recognition of breast cancer awareness.
At the finish line, the Rebel Alliance and the 501st Legion formed a guard of honour for racegoers.
While it was a successful morning, Mr Hunter said the date had caused some issues with the planning.
“We are going to sit down and decide on whether we will hold the event on the Mother’s Day weekend next year or not,” he said.
“That may have caused some people to rethink their plans travelling here.
“Our main goal in doing this is to showcase and highlight our area for people so they come here and want to come back and visit.
“Next time I hope we can boost the support of other major events in town so we get people returning.
“Whenever there’s big event on we should be utilising that publicity to grow our other events.”
Photos courtesy of Emily Rouse