Wednesday, January 1, 2014

San Diego Big Balloon Parade

By Kat Kiele

The traffic of downtown San Diego was hectic as the parade was getting ready to start.Roads were blocked off, people were scrambling to reach the parade on time. The participants were hidden away behind the portable lavatories. The sun was beating down on the costumers, marching bands, and the spectators. Being in full gear, trying not to run into people, was like juggling chainsaws and eggs at the same time. The crowds of people were crowding around me as I was trying to meet up with my crew, Haran'galaar Aliit, San Diego Mandalorian Mercs Costuming Chapter

The San Diego Star Wars Society was the group that organized this event. They are an organization that accepts any kind of Star Wars fan. Unlike the Mandalorian Mercs, the Rebel Legion, and The 501st Legion, The SDSWS doesn't require a costume. As long as you are a big Star Wars fan, they allow you to troop with them. For more information about the San Diego Star Wars Society, check out their website at:

As someone who was participating in the parade, it was an amazing experience. The ver'alor, who is the Lieutenant of the local clan, Eerbes Semaj, explains why he likes to do these events.

Left (Kat Kiele.) Right (Eerbes Semaj)
"I love doing these parades because you get to see how people respond to see you in your Costume. You see the people you recognize what you are and their faces light up with excitement, or they kind of know and then watch them try to figure it what you are, it's really fun, and funny at the same time." -Eerbes Semaj 

The Mandalorian Mercs, The 501st Legion, The Rebel Legion, along with any other costumers who were there as apart of the San Diego Star Wars Society, were bringing smiles upon children's faces. 

 Most of the kids were waiting for hi fives. Because of the mass amount of kids in the front row, it was almost impossible to hi-five all of them. However, we all tried our best to bring bigger smiles on their faces.

Costumer, Andrew Clark, was reaching out towards the crowd, hi-fiving the kids and adults in the stands. Cheers were erupting and calling out for a small touch of Star Wars characters in real life.

Chewbacca was also joining us during the parade, walking on stilts and trying to not trip. Imagine being in that costume in 70 degree Fahrenheit heat. 

"This community does so much to bring smiles to the faces of children and adults alike through parades and helping with fundraisers, that it's hard to stay away. I love the events we do like Alex's Lemonade Stand or Touch a Truck. Parades are ways for us to say, 'HEY! We are in your community! How can we help you?' " -Lon'Di Mdej
The Star Wars Community is always here to make a change in the world around us. Whether it is to make a child happy, or to bring smiles on families' faces. We are here to help.

This is Kat Kiele reporting from San Diego. Until next time, Happy Hunting.

For more pictures, check out:


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