“Star Wars” Characters Visit Naperville’s Water Street

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Why travel to a “galaxy far, far away” to see your favorite Star Wars characters, when you can meet them right in your own hometown?  That’s what many local families did Thursday night during the second annual Characters on Water Street event in downtown Naperville.

Star Wars – A Beloved Film Franchise

“It’s just one of those beloved traditions, beloved movies that’s become a household name that no matter how many movies, you’ve seen 10 or one or none, you know the characters,” said Danielle Tufano, Executive Director of the Downtown Naperville Alliance.  Hoping to brighten the lives of others, the alliance brought the event to Naperville with the help of the Midwest Garrison.  The group is part of the larger 501st Legion, an organization of 10,000-plus volunteers worldwide who make costumed appearances all in the name of charity.

“I get smiles from ear to ear, from grandma and grandpa to little kids that are just learning about Star Wars,” said Joe Bialek, a volunteer for The Midwest Garrison.  “It doesn’t matter the age.”

Giving Back

Afterwards, Pinot’s Palette hosted a special class where customers painted a scene featuring the Death Star from the movies, with proceeds benefitting the nonprofit, Variety – Children’s Charity of Illinois.  The group’s mission is to help children with disabilities or special needs – and their families – feel included in their communities.

The event comes on what many Star Wars fans call “May the Fourth” and had a much larger turnout than last year’s.

The Downtown Naperville Alliance is already anticipating doing the Characters on Water Street event next year, even bigger and better.