If you’re out and about in Inverness this coming Saturday (20th March) you best watch your step. Because at around mid-day, the Eastgate centre will see a mini invasion, in the shape of stormtroopers from the Star Wars movies, courtesy of members of the 501st Garrison.
They’ll be there to raise awareness of Children 1st, Scotland's leading welfare charity, and to let people know about the Hi-Ex - The Highland International Comic Expo - which will take place on the 27th and 28th at the city's Eden Court venue.
As well as the outreach programme funded by the Highland Council, HiEx also supports Children 1st with a raffle and auction during the weekend. Details of the auction items can be found on their website.
All items have been donated from various companies and comic artists, who have given pages of original art, including David Lloyd, co-creator of V for Vendetta and John Higgins, both of which have been recently been made into hit movies.
"Last year, the raffle and auction raised over £1600 for Children 1st," notes HiEx organiser Vicky Stonebridge, "with people bidding online from all over the world, and we hope to surpass that this time."
2010 will see the third time HiEx has been held in Inverness, and the first time they have succeeded in securing funding from the Highland Council. It's hoped there will be another HiEx event next year, but as Vicky explains, "It’s all very much dependant on future funding and how this years event goes.
"We have some very exciting guests this time, some coming from as far afield as Paris and New York, so we’re hopeful that HiEx 2010 will be a big enough success for us to continue next year."
• Details of the weekend events and discount weekend tickets can be found on the website: www.hi-ex.co.uk