The Force was strong in downtown Modesto on Friday evening.
The annual May the Fourth celebration — get it? May the Fourth, may the force — returned to Tenth Street Plaza to mark the biggest film series on producer/director and Modesto native George Lucas' resume. Star Wars Day brought cosplayers decked in their film-character finest, a laser light show and live music to the scene.
Hundreds came out to enjoy the event and pose with the various Imperial forces, Jedi knights and other characters from the film franchise. One of the bigger attractions was a nearly life-size, custom-made TIE-fighter that people could climb inside.
While celebrating "Star Wars," the event also marked the kick off of the Music in the Plaza concert series that will bring live music every Friday night to Tenth Street, through summer and into early fall.
On Friday, the Lodge Pole Pickers (while wearing Jedi robes) opened the series, which concludes on Sept. 28 with the band Threshold. A host of favorite local artists and groups will perform each week including Big Earl's Poorhouse Millionaires (May 11), Johnny Rocket & the Thrust for a Graffiti Summer event (June 8), Third Party Band (July 6), BluesBox Bayou Band (Aug. 17) and Patty Castillo Davis (Sept. 21).
Music is from 7 to 9 p.m. Fridays at Tenth Street Plaza in downtown Modesto.