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Star Wars Night at PNC Park

on Sun, 07/24/2016 - 13:04

To call Star Wars a cultural phenomenon is a vast understatement. For millions of fans around the world, Star Wars IS culture. The saga that George Lucas created back in 1977 serves not just as entertainment but a narrative that has struck a chord and serves as an inspiration arguably more than any other epic in history. The reach of Star Wars likewise extends further than the big screen, continuing on the small screen, in art, comic books and novels. Like the force itself, Star Wars truly is everywhere.

And that includes major league baseball parks. What originally began as a minor league promotional night was quickly called up to the majors until no baseball season in any MLB city is complete without a Star Wars Night at their home stadium. Pittsburgh was not the first locale to embrace the merging of these two popular American pastimes, but is set to make it two years in a row with Star Wars Night at PNC Park on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. And yes, in addition to Stormtroopers and Jedis, the Pirates will be taking on the Seattle Mariners in an actual baseball game.

The best part of Star Wars Night at PNC Park is that fans don’t even need a ticket to the event to enjoy the festivities, as Federal Street will be blocked off next to the stadium for Star Wars aficionados to not only congregate beforehand but participate in the costume contest as well. Last year, over 80 fans participated, taking the makeshift stage, showing off their outfits to the crowd and being judged by a panel of Jedi Knights, all of whom are members of local Star Wars fan clubs. This year will be no different—if not bigger and better than the previous affair—as local residents use both the Force and their imagination to craft costume that not only honor Star Wars but the Steel City itself.

Registration for the costume contest takes place from 5pm until 6pm, with the actual contest scheduled from 6pm until 6:45pm.

Within the confines of PNC Park, meanwhile, 2,000 official Pirates/Star Wars T-Shirts will be given away to fans seated in specially reserved sections of the ballpark, and the game itself will feature numerous references to Star Wars, from images on the jumbo screen to Jedi Knights overseeing the traditional Perogie Race in between innings. All in all, the evening offers a unique opportunity for fans to share their affection for two of America’s most-loved institutions.

So grab both your lightsaber and catcher’s mit, and head out to PNC Park on Wednesday, as the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrate Star Wars!

Anthony Letizia (July 24, 2016)

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