Star Wars fans celebrate literacy and love for franchise at Victoria Gardens

RANCHO CUCAMONGA >> Thousands of Star Wars fans came to the annual Star Wars Reads event at Victoria Gardens on Saturday to meet their favorite characters and get excited about books.

This year’s 10th annual celebration began with a parade down Main Street at Victoria Gardens, from Kew Avenue to the Victoria Gardens Cultural Center, to the delight of hundreds lining the street.

Darth Vader lead a large unit of stormtroopers, followed by an assortment of Jedi knights, Sith, Mandalorian warriors and fully functioning astromech droids like R2D2 and Chopper — who appears in the “Star Wars Rebels” animated series.

While Star Wars Reads celebrates its 10th year, the Star Wars franchise celebrated its 40th anniversary Wednesday. Parents at the event, who were children when the first three films in the saga were released, brought their own children, to the event, many in costume.

The focus of the Star Wars Reads event is to encourage literacy with children and young people, said Rancho Cucamonga Library Director Julie Sowles,

“It’s our event to bring people who enjoy Star Wars together, to wear their costumes, get out with their tribe, enjoy their community and invite some people who might not always come to the library to come to the library,” Sowles said. “We have all kinds of fun things they can do today. They can make Yoda ears, they can make Leia hair buns. We’re giving away free books on Star Wars. There are lots of photo opportunities with…

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