On Sunday, June 19th, members of the New England Garrison headed up to Shelburne, Vermont, for a Star Wars Day, celebrating the release of an upcoming book with the Flying Pig Bookstore. Marked with a prominent STAR WARS EVENT sign, troopers arrived at the event space and suited up, while a crowd gathered in the town gym to wait. As two stormtroopers, a snow trooper and a clone trooper entered the room, the crowd had a collective intake of breath, and quickly lined up to take pictures. The first four troopers were soon joined by Darth Vader, escorted by a Biker Scout, and those who had lined up for pictures quickly rejoined the line for more.

Store owners Josie and Elizabeth were thrilled at our presence:

The children were often in costume and bravado quickly turned to hiding behind daddy’s leg when full-sized characters came out. Some kids were dressed and ready to meet their heroes without fear. Little Darth Vaders came in several sizes…The 501st [Legion] did a wonderful job and the event was a smashing success.

After holding the line for pictures for almost an hour, as the 175 or so participants waited for pictures, the troopers dispersed around the room to meet fans, and took turns going out by the road to wave at traffic. A number of children had dressed as their favorite characters, and the awe from the crowd was palpable. By the end of the day, the event had received around $300 in donations for the Stern Center for Language and Learning in Burlington, VT.

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