May 4th is when people dress as Star Wars characters, say “May the Fourth be with you” and attend special events like the one at Vancouver’s Space Centre.
Of course not everyone dresses up in costume on the day, but diehard fans of the science fiction franchise do. Also, on the radio and in general conversation, you’ll hear lots of people making reference to the day and saying “May the Fourth be with you”.
MAY THE FOURTH AND COVID-19
May the Fourth celebrations will look a little different this year thanks to COVID-19, especially as most public venues are closed. In previous years May the Fourth events have taken place at toy stores, libraries and other locations. That won’t be happening this year, at least not for people to show up to in person.
In 2020 people wanting to celebrate can watch Star Wars films with family at home, or check out the online activities hosted by Vancouver’s Space Centre.
The H.R. MacMillan Space Centre is hosting a Virtual Family Night on May 4th from 7:00 until 7:45 pm. It’s free to attend and participants are encouraged to dress up at home in their favourite Star Wars costumes. At the online event a couple of Space Centre hosts take everyone on a journey to both make-believe and real planets.
To register for the free event click May 4th Family Night at the Space Centre.
May the Fourth in Vancouver
A small number of Star Wars-themed events take place in Vancouver on May 4th each year. In 2019 one of the most significant events was at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre. There were also celebrations at a number of public libraries, toy stores and night clubs around town. Most 2020 events won’t be happening this year due to the coronavirus outbreak, but at least one will be.
Star Wars at the Space Centre
Special family-friendly Star Wars-themed activities take place at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre on May 4th most years. In 2019 the event took place from 6:30 until 9:00 pm and cost $20 for adults and $15 for children (ages 18 and under). In 2020 the event happens virtually, online.
The May the Fourth event at the Space Centre in past years has been recommended for kids ages 7 and older and it has been a lot of fun. Children and their families are invited to dress up as their favourite Star Wars characters and enjoy an evening of games, crafts, photo opportunities and other activities.
What to Expect at the Space Centre (in years without COVID-19)
At the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre’s in-person May the Fourth event in normal years you can expect to see lots of young families, Star Wars fanatics of all ages and dozens of folk dressed as their favourite Rebel and Empire characters.
The main exhibit room is open for people to wander around, there are live demonstrations in the GroundStation Canada Theatre, and a show is featured in the Planetarium Star Theatre. The observatory is also open later in the evening (weather permitting).
In 2019 members of Vancouver’s 501st Legion Outer Rim Garrison attended, which meant fabulous photo opportunities. In attendance was Darth Vader, a number of Stormtroopers, a Tuskan Raider and various other characters. It was impressive!
Other Vancouver May the Fourth Events
May the Fourth events also take place at a number of other Lower Mainland locations each year. Below is a list of public libraries and other locations where Star Wars characters and celebrations could be found in 2019. Some were pretty simple affairs, and others, like the event at the above-mentioned Space Centre, were more extensive.
May the Fourth in Vancouver
Vancouver Public Library
The Star Wars franchise was celebrated on May 4th, 2019, at the Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library at 350 West Georgia Street with activities from 2:30 until 3:30 pm. The event was free and suitable for elementary school-aged children and their parents.
Star Wars 80s Party at the Astoria
A Galaxion 80s Night took place at the Astoria Hotel at 769 East Hastings Street from 9:00 pm until 2:00 am on May 4th in 2019. The adult-only event included Star Wars decorations, science fiction-themed games, 1980’s DJ music and prizes for best costumes. The cost was $25. Click Astoria Galaxion for more information about the venue.
North Vancouver Public Libraries
In 2019 there were crafts, a movie and appearances by a couple of Star Wars characters at North Vancouver’s Main Public Library at 120 West 14th Street. Craft activities took place from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm and the film Solo: A Star Wars Story was shown at 2 o’clock. Click North Van Main Library for details.
The movie Solo: A Star Wars Story was also shown at North Vancouver’s Capilano Public Library at 3045 Highland Boulevard from 2:30 until 4:30 pm. See the North Vancouver District Library website for details.
Star Wars at Burnaby Public Libraries
May the fourth was celebrated at the Burnaby Public Library’s Cameron Branch at 9523 Cameron Street with a scavenger hunt, crafts, photo opportunities and the showing of the movie The Last Jedi. The event ran from 9:00 am until 4:30 pm and advanced registration was required for some activities.
Star Wars Day activities also took place at the Tommy Douglas Branch of the Burnaby Public Library. The movie Solo: A Star Wars Story was shown at 10:30 am and The Force Awakens at 2:00 pm. Admission was free.
May the Fourth in the Tri-Cities
Star Wars Day took place at the Terry Fox Library at 2740 Mary Hill Road in Port Coquitlam from 1:00 until 4:00 pm. Admission was free and activities included a scavenger hunt, photo opportunities and crafts. Admission was free.
May the Fourth in the Langley
In past recent years costumed members of Vancouver’s 501st Legion Outer Rim Garrison have shown up at the Toy Traders store at 19880 Langley Bypass in Langley. Darth Vader, Stormtroopers and other Star Wars characters have posed for photos in exchange for a donation with funds raised going to a charitable cause.
The event didn’t take place in 2019, but it did the year before. It won’t be happening again in 2020, thanks to the COVID-19 epidemic. 2021 details are to be confirmed.
May 4th is just one day before May 5th which is when Cinco de Mayo festivities take place. Click Cinco de Mayo in Vancouver to learn about Mexican-themed celebrations in the Lower Mainland.
For lists of other things to do check out the following:
- Vancouver May Calendar
- Vancouver Festivals & Events
- Best Places for Children
- Metro Vancouver’s Top 100 Places