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Star Wars convention to be held in Hastings

HASTINGS - The first Star Wars convention to be held in Hastings - and perhaps the only one in the state - is coming Sept. 24 to the County Inn and Suites.

Star Wars fans from across the Midwest will gather together to celebrate the films as well as raise money for the local food shelf and Hastings Family Service.

Autographed items - including original comic prints - will be up for auction. Local business will have vendor booths set up. There will be a vintage Star Wars toy display. Star Wars videos will be playing at various booths, and there will be a fan-made Star Wars presentation. Of course, adults and children will be showing off their best costumes in the costume contest.

The convention has a few guest appearances scheduled as well. Members of the 501st Storm Trooper Legion will make an appearance in movie-quality costumes, and members of the Rebel Legion are also expected to attend.

A handful of fans will get a chance to speak directly to two Star Wars actors. Alan Flyng played a storm trooper in "The Empire Strikes Back," and Derek Lyons played a rebel soldier in "A New Hope." Both actors live in Great Britain; live conversations will be held via a Skype video call.

The convention was originally scheduled for May 31, the 30th anniversary of "The Empire Strikes Back," but had to be postponed.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and events begin at 7 p.m. The convention should wrap up around 11 p.m. or midnight. Country Inn and Suites is located at 300 33rd St. in Hastings.

For more information about the convention or to volunteer, call organizer Kieth Garrick at 651-338-9908 or e-mail him at