New York City is taken over by Jedi / Sith for "Lightsaber Battle NYC 2015"!

Lightsaber Battle NYC 2015 (1)

Those in tune with the Force descended on Washington Square Park in New York City this past Saturday, August 15, for Newmindspace's annual "Lightsaber Battle NYC"! Star Wars fans gathered from all over the New York area to participate in this year's battle as well as random New Yorkers who happened to be passing the park and saw the glow of the lightsabers.

The exact numbers have not yet been released but in the past this event has attracted up to 1,000 participants. Who can turn down a good Jedi vs Sith lightsaber fight, right? The event was created by Kevin Bracken from Newmindspace who has been putting on events like this for the past ten years. He re-creates childhood activites, puts them in an urban setting, and invites as many as he can to attend. Other events have included huge pillow fights, water gun fights, and even a massive bubble battles. These kind of events reclaim public space in order to get everyone to have fun.

Below you can watch two lightsaber duels that I captured during the event.

I have attended this event the last few years and it is always a lot of fun. Everybody is having a good time and even though people are sword fighting all over the park (or lightsaber fighting) they still try to be courteous to those who are there just as spectators. Participants were able to bring their own personal lightsabers to the battle or purchase a light-up plastic one from Newmindspace. With lightsabers in hand those in attendance let their imagination run wild as they slipped into the world of Star Wars.

Fans showed up in some really impressive cosplays as their favorite, or original concept, Jedi and Sith and wielded lightsabers that would pass for the real thing. Those not in cosplay showed support wearing various Star Wars apparel. Anticipation built as Jedi and Sith squared off in dueling circles while onlookers cheered on their favorite fighters. It wasn't just Jedi Masters or Sith Lords entering the dueling circles either. Fighters of all levels and ages entered the circle for their chance to have fun and be cheered on. The crowd was great and supported all who participated. Others wandered the park taking pictures of those in costumes or had pictures taken of them. Though this may have been a Jedi vs Sith battle it didn't stop a member of the 501st Legion (a costuming community that does amazing charity work) dressed as a Stormtrooper from showing up and having fun as well. Other random costumes included a Ghostbuster, Spider-Man, Batman, and even the red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger.

This was a fun night and it was clear from all the cheers and smiles that a great time was had by all. I hope that Newmindspace keeps this event going.

Below you can scroll through some photos that I took during the event. I should have taken more but I was busy cheering on my favorite Jedi and Sith. Enjoy!

Lightsaber Battle NYC 2015

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