LEWISTON — The grand-prize winner of “The Force Takes Flight” costume contest at the 24th annual Great Falls Balloon Festival will earn the chance to take flight in the Darth Vader specialty balloon during the festival.

The contest will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, on the main stage at Simard-Payne Memorial Park. Those interested in competing should dress up as their favorite “Star Wars” character.

All entrants will be divided into three categories: children younger than 12; youths, ages 12 to 18; and adults, 18 and older.

Participants will vie for prizes in their categories for best costume and best character likeness, as decided by a trio of local judges.

Judges will be Auburn Mayor Jonathan LaBonte, Lewiston City Councilor Kristen Cloutier, and Mitchell Clyde Thomas, longtime Lewiston-Auburn Community Little Theatre participant and executive director of The Dolard & Priscilla Gendron Franco Center.

Contestants are encouraged to show off their creations in Saturday morning’s festival parade.

Those wishing to march in the parade are asked to gather at 10:30 a.m. on Elm Street in Auburn. The parade will begin at 11 a.m. Children younger than 12 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and be supervised for the duration of the parade.

FMI: [email protected].

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