May 6th quickly arrived, as The Star Wars Fan Fun Day 2013 was underway. I myself was through the door extra early to set up our table, and because of this, we got a first hand glimpse of the queue of people which quickly built up outside the Football Ground. This was easily the BIGGEST Star Wars Fan Fun Day event to date, and the crowd numbers were a testament to that. It was a lovely day as well, and despite the scorching heat, members of the Rebel Legion UK & 99th Garrison, in full costume, took to the outdoors to entertain the attendees in the queue as they waited to get into the Ground. The Rebel Legion & 99th Garrison do fantastic work for events up and down the country, and the day prior, had spent the “May the 4th be with You” celebrations in LEGOLAND Windsor, and made the trip to Burnley for the Star Wars Fan Fun Day. That is dedication, and it is certainly inspiring.
As the doors opened, and attendees began to pour through in the James Hargreaves Suite of Burnley FC, the SWFFD was well underway. The crowds jumped at the chance to have their photos taken with Jabba the Hutt, and his Palace inhabitants, which was amazingly set up by Jabbas Workshop, whom at the event were displaying not only a full sized Jabba the Hutt atop his Throne, but various costumes from the Star Wars Saga, including Snaggletooths, Biths & Twi’Leks! Also on display were replica Stormtrooper & Sandtrooper suits, made by the talented folks at RS Prop Masters, who were conveniently placed next to our table, and were great guys to chat to. Other Fan groups displaying props & Models were the Galactic Knights, who had some of their 1:1 scale props on display, including IG-88, a Battle Droid, and full suit of Darth Vader armour, as well as three Droid Commando heads from the Clone Wars animated series, new for 2013! Also spotted were Studio scale models of the Yavin Hangar, and Battle of Hoth, complete with AT-AT’s and Rebel Turrets!
There were many stalls selling Star Wars merchandise as well, including new, old & hard to find memorabilia, spanning all 30 plus years of the Star Wars Saga. I was lucky enough to find myself a Vintage Original Trilogy Collection 12″ Boba Fett figure, which made a great addition to my collection! To the rear of the James Hargreaves Suite, was the VIP Lounge in which pass holders could enjoy a buffet, as well as meet and greet the Star Wars stars, and take home a souvenir SWFFD mug! Costumed characters populated this area of the room throughout the day, including Jedi Masters Obi-Wan Kenobi & Luminara Unduli, Barriss Offee, Clone Commander Cody, Gammorean Guards, Sand People, Rebel Pilots, Wookiees and many, many more! All who were more than happy to pause during duty to take photographs with fans!
The guests who had attended the Dinner with the Star Wars stars the previous night were also in attendance at the Star Wars Fan Fun Day, signing autographs, posing for photographs and even recording video interviews with fans. I met up with the hosts of “The Voice of the Republic Podcast” throughout the day, and they were lucky enough to score interviews with Chris Muncke (Captain Khurgee), Cathy Munroe (Zuckuss) & Alan Ruscoe (Plo Koon & Daultay Dofine). Due to his untimely passing, but scheduled appearance at this years event, a book of condolences was placed on Richard Le Parmentiers signing table, which by the time I got chance to sign, was almost full, and would ultimately be passed on after the event to Richards family in Austin, Texas. A very fitting tribute.
I myself held a Fundraising Tombola at the SWFFD, raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support & the Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity, based in Sheffield. We had a great selection of prizes up for grabs, which were kindly donated by the team at Jedi News, as well as online retailer www.staractionfigures.co.uk. We were astonished by the queues of people which quickly formed to try their hands at winning some prizes, and were thrilled that each & every prize we had up for grabs was won by fans young & old! We bettered our total raised at last years SWFFD, and will find out the full amount raised very soon, which will then be posted over on my Facebook page! Due in part to holding a table & Tombola at the event, I was also lucky enough to meet many of my followers from YouTube, Facebook & across the web, and was humbled by the comments I received on my work, so I’d like to take this time to make a shameless plug and say thank you to everyone who not only came & said hello to me, but of course took part in our fundraising activities at the event! It was very touching to see the generosity and kindness of the Star Wars fan community at this event, not only for my own fundraising, but for the entire charitable aspect that the SWFFD brings each & every year.
Overall, the Star Wars Fan Fun Day 2013 was, without a shadow of a doubt, the BIGGEST & BEST SWFFD to date, and 2014’s will surely be a great one too. I’d like to take this time to thank Neil Livesey, his family, friends and team who helped put together this absolutely fantastic event! Neil and co. are a fantastic bunch, frankly some of the nicest people you could wish to meet, and I couldn’t think of a better group to put together a Star Wars fan event! If you only make it to one show a year in the UK, make sure it is The Star Wars Fan Fun Day. It never, ever disappoints, and like a fine wine, only gets better with age. Well done Neil on putting together such an amazing experience for thousands of Star Wars fans, young old, and everywhere in between. It truly is an event which caters for everyone.
For more Jedi News event coverage click here.