Expect about 10,000 people downtown Saturday at the Joliet Public Library’s Star Wars Day, an event that has gained national recognition.
“Maybe even more since the weather looks perfect,” library director Megan Millen said of the number of attendees, many of whom will be in costume giving the streets of downtown a uniquely festive and cinematic feeling from the opening ceremony at 11 a.m. to the closing ceremony at 4 p.m.
Star Wars Day has reached such magnitude that the American Library Association gave it the 2018 Excellence in Library Programming Award.
“We’re the only library in the country to receive the award. It’s pretty prestigious,” Millen said. “They’re hard to come by. Usually large library systems receive it.”
The award also is recognition for the volunteer effort the library staff gives to the annual event. Nearly all 110 staff members will contribute to Star Wars Day in some capacity, preparing for the event or helping that day, Millen said.
The library website gives full information on Star Wars Day activities.
But one of the highlights comes early, with a parade of “Star Wars” re-enactors who start their march in front of the Joliet Area Historical Museum.
Guests for the day include “Star Wars” author John Jackson Miller and “Star Wars” artist Dave Dorman.
There will be “Star Wars” games for kids and prizes for a costume contest.