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'Star Wars' at Butter and Egg Days

When the 33rd annual Butter & Egg Days Parade struts its stuff at noon Saturday, the 3,000-some participants will pay tribute to the theme, “Homegrown Petaluma.”

From a float featuring a Senior (over 55) Prom King and Queen to kids dressed up as storybook characters, this year's parade promises something for everyone.

But one of the quirkier entries comes from the History Connection of Petaluma, dedicated to telling important stories from the past.

The costumed, walking group will shine a lightsaber on a little-known, “homegrown” treasure: Rancho Obi-Wan, a 9,000-square-foot museum recognized by the Guinness World Records as housing the “Largest Collection of 'Star Wars' Memorabilia” in the galaxy.

Run by former Lucasfilm marketer Steve Sansweet, the museum is located in a rural outbuilding that was once home to more than 20,000 chickens during Petaluma's heyday as the “Egg Capital of the World.”

“The museum tour lasts about four hours, but you are very much entertained,” said Joel Noriel of the History Connection. “People come from all over the world.”

Marching in the “Star Wars” contingent will be kids from Wilson Elementary and Petaluma High svhools, as well as members of the 501st Legion, “The World's Definitive Imperial Costuming Organization.”

“They are the ultimate Stormtroopers, representing the dark side of the force,” Noriel said. “And the 'Star Wars' museum is providing a Rebel troop cart.”

To inspire the troops, the imperious theme music from “Star Wars” will provide a blast from the past.

“It's amazing to me, from a cultural perspective, that the fascination with 'Star Wars” is never ending,” Noriel said, “I saw it in 1977, and I see that same enthusiasm with my kids.”

If you feel the

“Force” calling you,

contact Noriel at historyconnected@

gmail.com. Museum info: ranchoobiwan.org.

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