Forks to fete Twilight in a bigger way next weekend

By Paige Dickerson
Peninsula Daily News

Saturday

• 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. -- Breakfast, Forks Congregational Church, 171 Campbell St., $10.

• 9 a.m. -- "Bella Loves Books" Book Sale, Forks Library, 171 S. Forks Ave.

• 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m. -- Tours of Forks High School, 261 S. Spartan Ave., $3.

• 10 a.m. -- Vendors begin selling "Twilight" items at Tillicum Park; register between 10 a.m. and noon for Sunday's Twilight Scavenger Hunt at Leppell's Flowers & Gifts, 130 S. Spartan Ave.

• 12:30 p.m. -- Music by Spradlee & Josh Swerin.

• 2 p.m. -- Group photo, Tillicum Park.

• 2:30 p.m. -- Twilight characters look-alike contest/judging, Tillicum Park.

• 3:30 p.m. -- Decorated car judging contest, Forks Library.

• 4 p.m. -- Screening of documentary "Twilight In Forks -- The Saga of the Real Town" Forks High School.

• 6 p.m. -- Mitch Hansen Band, Twilight Lounge in Vagabond Restaurant, 81 N. Forks Ave.

• At twilight -- Bonfire in La Push on First Beach.

• 10 p.m. -- Twilight Music Girls concert, Round House, 110 Business Park Road, $20 per person.

Sunday

• 10 a.m. -- Vendors begin selling items, Tillicum Park.

• 11 a.m. -- Music by Spradlee & Josh Swerin, Tillicum Park.

• 1 p.m. -- Forks Mayor reads proclamation for "Stephenie Meyer Day," Tillicum Park.

• 1 p.m. -- Twilight Scavenger Hunt begins at Leppell's Flowers & Gifts. For details, phone 360-374-6931.

• 1:15 p.m. -- Bella's birthday cake cut, Tillicum Park.

• 2 p.m. -- Group photo, Tillicum Park.

• 2:15 p.m. -- Twilight Trivia contest, Tillicum Park.
FORKS -- In light of record numbers of Twilight admirers visiting the town this summer, Forks organizers have expanded Stephenie Meyer Day into a weekend starting Saturday, Sept. 12.

They are bracing for what they predict will be the largest celebration yet of Twilight heroine Isabella Swan's fictional birthday, named in honor of the author of a bestselling four-novel vampire series set in Forks -- who will not attend.

The event celebrating the Twilight saga drew about 1,000 fans in 2008. That included about 200 TwilightMOMs -- members of a site for adult fans of the books.

"I don't think we could keep them away if we wanted to," Forks Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marcia Bingham said.

"We don't know how many people will come, but every single day I have people calling saying they are having trouble getting a room and where should they call."

The official Stephenie Meyer Day is Sunday, Sept. 13 -- the date of Bella's birthday -- but Forks events will begin the day before.

Planned for the weekend are $3 tours of Forks High School -- where the fictional Swan and her vampire boyfriend, Edward Cullen attended school -- as well as plenty of music, a look-alike contest, group photographs, a bonfire at First Beach, a scavenger hunt, and of course, a birthday cake for Bella.

Forks visitors

The Twilight saga's impact on Forks can be seen by the registration book at the Forks Visitor Center.

In August, the center had 13,605 guests, Mike Gurling, office manager, said.

So far in 2009, about 55,600 people have been through the visitor center, he added.

"That compares with the total number of visitors in 2008 of 18,736," he said.

"Obviously this has been a big year, and the Stephenie Meyer Day weekend events should be a fun time for all."

In September, the number dropped from August's 700-plus people per day.

"We couldn't handle it all year without quadrupling our staff," Bingham said.

"We are both excited and terrified by Stephenie Meyer Day. We just don't know what will happen.

"But I feel wonderful about Forks and about the atmosphere here."

Saturday events

A $10 breakfast at Forks Congregational Church, 171 Campbell St., and a book sale at Forks Public Library will kick off the Saturday activities.

Along with the tours of the high school, scheduled all day, a contest of look-alikes of the characters in the "Twilight" movie based on the book will be at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

The Mitch Hansen Band, which played at the Twilight Symposium in June, will return for two free concerts sponsored by Dazzled by Twilight at 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Saturday at the Vagabond Restaurant, 81 N. Forks Ave.

Twilight Music Girls will perform in a concert sponsored by Leppell's Flowers at 10 p.m. Saturday at the Round House, 110 Business Park Road. Admission is $20.

At sunset, the Quileute tribe will hold a bonfire - simulating the bonfire party that Bella attended in the book on First Beach in LaPush.

Sunday events

On Sunday, vendors will sell Twilight-related items at Tillicum Park. Spradlee & Josh Swerin will play at 11 a.m. At 1p.m., Leppell's Flowers will sponsor a scavenger hunt, with detailed clues to send fans throughout town.

At 1:15 p.m. Bella's birthday cake will be cut and served at Tillicum Park, which will be the site of the annual group photo at 2 p.m.

The first Stephenie Meyer Day was in 2006, before Twilight had become a sensation -- with fans all over the world -- before the sequels were released and before movie contracts became serious.

In fact, at the time, MTV had optioned the movie, but that deal fell through and Summit picked it up shortly thereafter to produce the "Twilight" movie in 2008. The movie, "New Moon," based on Meyer's book of the same name, is to be released in November.

For more information about the Forks celebration, phone 360-374-2531.

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Reporter Paige Dickerson can be reached at 360-417-3535 or at paige.dickerson@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: September 05. 2009 11:52PM
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