Adam Black, Editor
The Ashland Beacon
Dueling foes lit up Central Park as they clashed lightsabers during a game of capture the flag Saturday evening.
Star Wars and lightsaber enthusiasts from around the region gathered at the park for the annual Tri-State Saber Community Day, to meet like-minded friends and duel throughout the park with their lightsabers in several epic rounds of saber tag, capture the flag and more.
“We have about 60 people here from five different organizations that just have a love for lightsabers and Star Wars,” Co-Organizer Austin Hammonds said. “This is a day for all the groups to get together and practice techniques, mingle with friends and make new ones.”
Saber swinging members traveled from all over the region including from Fairmont, West Virginia, and Morehead, Kentucky.
“We try to host this to show the community what we do and have fun through saber arts.” Hammond said.
“Saber Arts... just think of it as professional wrestling with laser swords,” Co-Organizer Tim Lane said. “Some people look at it as cardio, some people look at it as a sport, martial arts, there are a number of reasons to geek out with a glowing stick in your hands.”
As the sun set over Central Park lightsabers began to glow, some even making sounds as they hit other sabers during game play.
“We just like coming out and having fun and being with some like-minded people,” Hammonds said. “The Saber community has definitely grown throughout the years and has been around since 2011.”
With the popularity of the groups throughout the Tri-State, Hammonds said they are currently planning an upcoming event that will take place in the park Sept. 13.
“Every year we host the Tri-State Saber Community Tournament of Champions,” Hammonds said.
The tournament, which is normally a 32 to 36-man bracket, has more than 100 participants that hope to compete in the competition each year and put their saber skills to the test.
“It’s always a great time and a great way to bring the saber community together,” Hammonds said. “Anyone interested can find us on social media through Tri-State Saber Community.”
Hammonds said the organizations are always looking for new members and that anyone is welcome to join if they are at least 12 years old or have parental supervision if younger.
“We call it the lightsaber highway from here to Morehead you can find an organization,” Hammonds said.