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  • Brian Baer / Special to The Bee

    Darth Vader, protected by his loyal stormtroopers, wait for the parade to begin at the “May The Fourth Be with You” community event in West Sacramento on Sunday.

  • Brian Baer / Special to The Bee

    The most infamous villain of the galaxy far, far away attends Sunday’s show in West Sacramento. Darth Vader was one of many costumed Star Wars characters.

  • Brian Baer / Special to The Bee

    Jedi master Ken Hampton of Yuba City holds a light saber during the “May The Fourth Be with You” community event at the West Sacramento Community Center and City Hall on Sunday.

  • Brian Baer / Special to The Bee

    Lizz Valdovinos holds the hand of her 5-year-old son, Hayden, as they walk with friend Debbie Cole to attend the “May The Fourth Be with You” community event at the West Sacramento Community Center and City Hall on Sunday.

  • Brian Baer / Special to The Bee

    Three-year-old Asher Sheray of Marin uses the force to subdue stormtroopers during the “May The Fourth Be with You” community event at the West Sacramento Community Center and City Hall on Sunday. West Sacramento paired with the Sac Geeks club put on the event celebrating all things Star Wars.

  • Brian Baer / Special to The Bee

    A West Sacramento police office blocks traffic for the forces of the Imperial army during the costume parade at the “May The Fourth Be with You” event on Sunday in West Sacramento. The event featured costumed characters, vendors, art, games, live shows, video presentations, contests, memorabilia, hands-on activities and more.

May the Fourth Be With You lures fans to West Sac, shares with charity

Published: Sunday, May. 4, 2014 - 8:35 pm
Last Modified: Monday, May. 5, 2014 - 8:03 am

Sith happens, but that may not be a bad thing.

Just ask Jennifer Ravensong, who had an emblem of the villainous order from “Star Wars” shaved onto the left side of her head Sunday.

“I did half of the head for a character for the costume contest,” said the 33-year-old resident of Sacramento. “At 4 p.m., I will shave the rest of my head to show support for St. Baldrick’s Foundation,” a nonprofit organization that raises money for children with cancer.

Ravensong’s character, Jayleena, had a Jedi mother and a Sith father, and she portrayed that heritage quite graphically: The right side of her costume was that of a Jedi knight, while the left was that of a Sith lord, complete with red eye.

“She’s been in exile all her life,” Ravensong said. “This is a literal interpretation of that split.”

Ravensong was among a handful of “cosplayers” – costume players – to attend the May the Fourth Be With You convention Sunday in West Sacramento. The “Star Wars”-themed event, now in its second year, was organized by the fan group Sac Geeks and the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. Half the proceeds from convention registration and commemorative poster sales will go to Make-A-Wish Foundation.

By noon Sunday, more than 1,000 people had registered for the one-day convention, which was held inside two buildings – the City Hall Galleria and the West Sacramento Community Center.

The attendance pleased Andre Pichly, superintendent of West Sacramento’s Parks and Recreation Department, who organized the celebration last year on Star Wars Day to draw people to the city’s civic center district. In 2013, 700 people came for the four-hour event, which raised $500 for Make-A-Wish.

This year, his department decided to team up with Sac Geeks and expand the festivities to go on all day. “It’s been a lot of fun for us, and it’s a great thing for our community,” he said. A costume parade was added this year, along with a cosplay room. A number of panels focused on making costumes and props, such as light sabers.

Although the convention is geared toward “Star Wars” fans, that didn’t keep fans of other science-fiction TV shows and movies from dressing up as their favorite characters.

“I came to see my friend get her head shaved,” said Kazran Spasojevich, 35, of Carmichael, who was the spitting image of the 10th Doctor from the “Doctor Who” TV series in his blue pinstripe suit and long brown overcoat.

He was looking for Ravensong, who also had a table selling “Star Wars” bags in the City Hall Galleria vendors room. She was also serving as a representative for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which was fundraising at the convention by offering to shave Sith or Rebel logos onto people’s heads for a $10 donation.

Accompanying Spasojevich was Mina Zubia, 19, of Grass Valley, who came as the female version of Beetlejuice, the outrageous demon played by Michael Keaton in the movie with the same name. “It’s fun being Beetlejuice, just horsing around,” she said.

Next year, since May 4 does not fall on a weekend, the convention will expand its focus to include other science-fiction works, such as “Doctor Who,” “Star Trek” and “Farscape.” But it will still be a low-key affair.

“It will be for fans, by fans,” Pichly said.

Call The Bee’s Tillie Fong, (916) 321-1006.

Read more articles by Tillie Fong

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