NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — An audience gathered in New Haven on Friday night to watch the 8th annual New Haven Reads Spelling Bee.

42 teams of three took the stage to challenge their knowledge of the world’s most complex words.

“It’s tremendous fun and I can practice my spelling, and it’s fun to cheer on the other teams and get dressed up and do it all for such a great cause because new haven reads is a phenomenal organization,” said participant MaryAnn Ott.

The event was hosted by News 8’s Ann Nyberg and Keith Kountz.

This bee wasn’t just for spelling addicts, the costumes and clever names gave the teams something fun to work on together.

“Our team is called Bee-turn of the Jedi, and obviously we’re going with a Star Wars theme,” participant Catherine Sullivan Decarlo said.

The New Haven Reads Spelling Bee is the city’s biggest fundraiser of the year, bringing in roughly $30,000 for literacy programs.

“New Haven Reads exists to share the joy and power of reading, and a spelling bee is absolutely perfect for our mission to be a fundraiser for us but also as a way to engage the community and to come out a support our cause,” said Fiona Bradford, New Haven Reads.