May the forest be with you


How do you celebrate May 4th? Are you one of the “May The 4th Be With You” geek junkies who love all things Star Wars?

It turns out Star Wars Day is an informal commemorative day observed annually on May 4th to celebrate the Star Wars franchise. Observance of this day spread quickly through media since the franchise began in 1977. A pun, “May the 4th Be with You” is a variant of the Star Wars catchphrase “May the Force Be with You.” Created by filmmaker George Lucas, the Star Wars franchise has embraced the pun and fans have chosen to celebrate the holiday in true Star Wars fashion.

Although the celebratory day was not created or declared by Lucasfilm, the film company and the Walt Disney Company have taken on the date of May 4th as the annual celebration of Star Wars.

The release date of the original Star Wars movie was May 25, 1977, and is still celebrated by some as Geek Pride Day.

It turns out the first use of the phrase, “May the 4th be with you” was back in 1979, the day after Margaret Thatcher was elected as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Her political party placed a congratulatory ad in the Evening News that read, “May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations.

The phrase has been used other times in the media and even in a defense debate on May 4, 1994. Still, the overwhelming majority of people consider May 4th as Star Wars Day and enjoy embracing the matching slogan, “May the 4th Be with You.”

In 2008, the first social media groups appeared celebrating Luke Skywalker Day, using the same phrase. In 2011, the first organized Star Wars Day took place in Canada. The second annual event did not happen until 2012.

Fans have celebrated Star Wars in a variety of ways using social media and television to share the celebration. Even Major League Baseball, association football and college sports have participated in the May 4th celebration. Some have worn special uniforms as part of the promotions and on May 4, 2015, International Space Station astronauts took time to watch Star Wars. In 2015, the bells inside the Peace Tower in Canada played “The Imperial March,” theme from Star Wars. In June 2021, it was announced that Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) would receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She received that star on May 4th 2023, Star Wars Day.

So why this history lesson on Star Wars? Well actually, the lesson is on the date May 4th. You see, this year the annual Pine Tree Festival will be held May 3rd & 4th with the main festivities happening on Saturday, May 4th.

How could we, the Swainsboro-Emanuel County Festival Foundation not give in to the coincidence of the date and celebrate our beloved timber industry with a little Star Wars twist?

Join us for the 77th Pine Tree Festival in downtown Swainsboro for another enjoyable event and help us promote this year’s slogan, “May the Forest Be with You.” It is sure to be out of this world!