Get your "Star Wars" on for the costume contest, take the kids to Jedi training to make their own light sabers and stick around for the Death Star piñata smash and nighttime dance party.


The largest disco ball in North America, created for the 2012-13 New Year's Eve celebrations at Hotel Congress, will be getting a new life this Saturday.

The 12-foot orb, weighing in at 200 pounds, will serve as a Death Star piñata at Congress' "May the Fourth Be With You" all-day "Star Wars" festival.

Artist Moises Orozco, who created the ball, is reimagining it so that it better resembles the Imperial battle station and planet destroyer.

The new piñata Death Star will include a trap door that will open up and dump about 50 pounds of candy when "ceremonially struck" with a light saber.

It also will serve as a backdrop during the festival's evening activities, when the event moves from family friendly to 21-and-older.

"We are working on lasers," said Congress Jedi Master and entertainment director David Slutes.

The venue held a smaller May the Fourth event last year but decided to blow it out in 2013, in partnership with Bookmans, Cinema La Placita and the Pima County Public Library, primarily because it fell on a Saturday.

Activities will include a "Star Wars" spelling bee, a trivia contest, a photo area with backdrops depicting different scenes and worlds from the movies and Jedi training where kids will be able to make their own lightsabers, then go and practice with local experts.

Members of the 501st Legion Stormtrooper costuming organization will make an appearance in full attire.

Once evening rolls around, there will be live music and prizes handed out for best "Star Wars"-themed costumes.

"It is essentially going to be one big Halloween party," Slutes said.

As for the Death Star, it will be converted back into a disco ball after the fest so it can be used again for the next New Year's celebration.

"We are going to get some use out of that thing," Slutes said.

if you go

• What: "May the Fourth Be With You" festival

• When: 1 p.m.-2 a.m. Saturday.

• Where: Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St.

The lineup

• 1 p.m. - Doors open

• 2 - Jedi training

• 2:30 - Trivia contest

• 3 - Jedi training

• 3:30 - Costume contest

• 4 - Jedi training

• 4:30 - Piñata smash

• 8 p.m.-2 a.m. - 21-and-older "Star Wars" dance party.

• Admission: Free for daytime events. $3 for evening events, or free if you wear a costume.

Contact reporter Gerald M. Gay at or 807-8430.