Naperville, IL
March 15, 2008
Story by Chris Spice (Darth Spice)
Photos by Chris Rhoads (dustrho)


It was a bright day in the mid-thirties when I loaded up my Dewback for another trip to visit our S.C.A.L.P. Weapons Supplier, it was a good thing I hit the highway bright and early was all I could think as I watched the pink sunrise in my rear-view mirror. For the residents of Naperville, IL would take to the streets to celebrate their Irish heritage, the 501st Legion would bring Vader’s Fist to the streets to assist with the festivities. Our Patrol has covered this event in the past, but this would be the first time I made it out personally. It would be good that I did seeing as the cold possibly curbed our usual participation, and you can always use another Trooper!

It seems I will have to re-initiate the Sandtrooper boot camp, as Dustrho was still a scratch to the active roster due to some extravagant holiday over-indulgence! If not being able to suit up as TD-1043 wasn’t enough he next did the unthinkable and donned a Rebel Fleet Trooper uniform! I was in shock as he took the wheel of the parade vehicle, and in the garb of a traitor at that. We had a decent sized party as Darth Vader, Boba Fett, several Stormtroopers, and a scattered assortment of other Star Wars characters prepared to join the parade procession. While we thought we had a pretty dazzling show, it seems we had a bigger presence right on our six!

The Indiana Jones Fan Club was in line right behind the Legion. I couldn’t believe how many different costumes they had on display. It didn’t stop there either, they brought out the heavy artillery with several WWII Nazi vehicles! If that wasn’t enough there were even two soldiers with the Arc of the Covenant in tow. It was really cool to see another costuming group get the attention, as Star Wars usually steals the show. However when we were going through the two-mile route, I heard just as many cries for Indiana Jones as I did Darth Vader!

Even though it was a tad brisk and early for my liking, it seemed like the parade was over and in classic Imperial fashion we were faced with a dilemma. It seemed no one had an evacuation plan for the conclusion of the parade, and we were forced to join the Nazi’s in delivering the Arc back to the staging area! The looks going through town were priceless. In the end Dustrho revealed to me his Rebel disguise he was unable to get any solid information on the Droids we’re looking for. All the patrons seemed happy to see our arrival, and we brought out plenty of smiles as we “moved along”. Overall I had a great time and you’d need the luck of a four-leaf clover to keep me away next year. United We Find!

To see the photo gallery containing 40 photos click here.