Photo by PoPville flickr user Brian Mosley
From an email:
“With Star Wars mania poised to sweep D.C. with the opening of The Force Awakens next Friday, a member of Washington National Cathedral’s staff will be visiting D.C. theatres, dressed as Darth Vader. Intimidating as this Lord Vader may be though, moviegoers may want to go over and meet him – this Vader will be passing out cards with a chance to win a private gargoyle tower climb at the Cathedral, featuring the building’s own stone carving of Darth Vader. This special promotion highlights the unique role Star Wars plays in the history of the National Cathedral.
In the 1980s, while its west towers were under construction, Washington National Cathedral held a decorative sculpture competition for children. Word of the competition was spread nationwide through National Geographic World Magazine. The third-place winner was Christopher Rader of Kearney, Nebraska, with his drawing of Darth Vader. The fierce head was sculpted by Jay Hall Carpenter, carved by Patrick J. Plunkett, and placed high upon the northwest tower of the Cathedral along with the other winning designs: a raccoon, a girl with pigtails and braces, and a man with large teeth and an umbrella.
The gargoyle tower climb is one of two 90-minute tours recently added by the Cathedral. This climb focuses on the Cathedral’s two western towers and includes a close-up look at many gargoyles and grotesques while visiting the open-air walkway wrapping around these two towers (about 125 feet above the ground). Visitors will get as close to the Cathedral’s Darth Vader statue as they possibly can during this tour and go to the very top of the northwest tower for a 360-degree view of Washington. The giveaway, worth approximately $250, would include a private tower climb for up to five people and will also come with a Darth Vader bobblehead.
Let me know if you would be interested in speaking with the man behind the (Darth Vader) mask or filming or taking pictures of the Cathedral promotion on the night of December 18 – we will be at the Uptown Theater and the Georgetown IMAX during the evening showings.”