The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Saturday, May 25, 2024 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

LEGO-palooza draws hundreds to Morehead Planetarium


When he first saw the various Star Wars exhibits, 9-year-old James Herman didn’t know what to say.

“When I saw it, I was just like, ‘Wow,’” he said.

It was James’ first time at the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center’s annual LEGO-palooza, held earlier this month.

Free to the public, the weekend event drew hundreds of children and parents like James’ mother, Beth Herman, who said she was equally impressed by exhibits ranging from the Titanic to the Death Star.

“It all looks like it must have taken a lot of work,” she said.

Star Wars was a popular theme at the event, with displays showing battles on Endor and Hoth that looked straight out of the movies.

The Raleigh-based North Carolina LEGO Users Group contributed most of the exhibits, although some came from individuals.

This year’s creations also included a sprawling model town and an exhibit on Islamic architecture created by Durham resident Sandy Cash.

Cash said he finds inspiration in scenes from Islamic architecture and doesn’t consider his creations to be replicas.

“I build what I like and I build what moves me,” Cash said.

That creative leeway is what Matthew Kay, 16, another model builder, said he likes about the blocks.

Kay said on one day he can make a space scene and on another, a Western.

“I can do a different thing with them every day,” said Kay, who contributed to the model town for this year’s event.

Daniel Pikora, 23, of Cary, also helped with the town exhibit, but said he couldn’t pick a favorite at the event. He said he has been playing with LEGOs his whole life and has been a member of NCLUG for four years.

Nine-year-old Aaron Frazier of Raleigh said he was impressed with what he saw on his first visit to the palooza.

At home, Frazier said he enjoys building wrestling rings and Star Wars displays and has hopes of one day entering an exhibit of his own.

“I want to make a giant statue of myself.”

Contact the University Editor at

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.

Special Print Edition
The Daily Tar Heel 2024 Orientation Guide