By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News
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Here's a schedule:
Today and tonight
■ Twi-Zumba — 8 a.m., Tillicum Park off U.S. Highway 101.
■ Welcome breakfast for Forever in Forks ticket-holders — 8 a.m., Tillicum Park.
■ Breakfast with the Olympic Coven — 10 a.m., JT's Sweets Stuff, 80 N. Forks Ave., $10.
■ Picnic lunch at First Beach, LaPush, for Forever in Forks ticket-holders — Noon, $5 parking fee for Quileute Oceanside Resort.
■ S'mores with the Olympic Coven at First Beach — 2 p.m.
■ Meet-and-greet with The Hillywood Show — 3 p.m., Sully's Drive-In, 220 S. Forks Ave.
■ Wine and cheese — 5 p.m., TwiFoot Tours, 51 N. Forks Ave., $15 per person.
■ Stephenie Meyer Day 2013 Music Festival featuring The Hillywood Show, sponsored by the Forks Police Foundation — 6 p.m. to midnight, The Roundhouse, 110 Business Park Road off LaPush Road.
■ “Breaking Dawn” breakfast — 8 a.m., JT's Sweets Stuff, $10.
■ Vampire 5K Run/Walk/Wheel, sponsored by Forks Police Foundation — 9 a.m., Tillicum Park, $20 entry fee donated to foundation.
■ Vampire blood drive, sponsored by Forks Community Hospital and Quileute events — 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., 51 N. Forks Ave.
■ Look-alike contest with judging by The Hillywood Show and “Alice” — 10 a.m., Pacific Pizza, 870 S. Forks Ave.
■ Special viewing of “Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Parts 1 and 2” — 10 a.m., Forks High School, 261 S. Spartan Ave., for Forever in Forks ticket-holders.
■ Bella's First Hunt with the Olympic Coven — 10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center, Hoh Valley Road, $15 entrance fee per car.
■ Group photo — Noon, Forks High School.
■ Jacob's Strut your Mutt pet photo contest — Noon, True Value, 10 S. Forks Ave.
■ Twilight live auction and swap meet — 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., The Roundhouse.
■ Costume contest with the Olympic Coven — 2 p.m., Old Weaver House.
■ Arm-wrestling with Emmett from the Olympic Coven — 2 p.m., Old Weaver House.
■ Ice-cream social with Alice — 3 p.m., JT's Sweets Stuff.
■ Forks Police Department softball game — 4 p.m., Tillicum Park.
■ Forever in Forks party for ticket-holders — 6 p.m. to midnight, Elks Lodge, 941 Merchant Road.
■ Leppell's annual dance with Alice and the Forks Coven — 9 p.m. to midnight, Leppell's Flowers and Gifts, 130 Spartan Ave., dress as your favorite character, $20.
■ Twi-Zumba — 8 a.m., Tillicum Park.
■ Farewell breakfast for Forever in Forks set — 8 a.m., Tillicum Park.
■ Trivia contest hosted by Alice — 9 a.m., Miller Tree Inn, 654 E. Division St.
■ Scavenger hunt — 11 a.m., Leppell's, $10 for team of four.
■ Bella's birthday cake celebration — 1 p.m., Forks Outfitters/Thriftway, 950 S. Forks Ave.
■ Bella's baby shower — 3 p.m., JT's Sweets Stuff, donation gift for “Bundles for Babes” admission.
Peninsula Daily News
FORKS — The biggest Stephenie Meyer Days festival yet is unfolding in Forks this weekend, organizers say.
“Twi-hards,” fans of the Twilight saga, will have a chance to immerse themselves in Meyer's vision of Forks and the world of vampires, werewolves and Olympic National Park during this seventh annual event.
“It's growing every year,” said Lissy Andros, executive director of the Forks Chamber of Commerce.
The 2013 edition of the celebration of the Twilight books and movies celebrates — as in years past — fictional character Bella Swan's birthday and this year Bella's First Hunt with the Olympic Coven in Olympic National Park's Hoh Rain Forest.
The Twilight saga comprises four novels written by Meyer, and five movies based on the books, about a love triangle between Bella, the teenage daughter of the Forks police chief, the “cold” (and sparkling) vampire Edward Cullen and the “hot” Quileute werewolf Jacob Black.
The final book in the series, Breaking Dawn (published in 2008), and its final movie “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2” (released last Nov. 16), featured a pitched battle against other Volturi vampires.
Guests of the Olympic Coven will visit the Hoh Rain Forest, which provides visitors a look inside the ancient forest where Bella and the Cullen vampire family hunt wild animals for food.
The “hunt” begins at 10:15 a.m. at the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center.
The cost is $15 per car for a pass to Olympic National Park (the pass is also good for another six days).
Stephenie Meyer Days is celebrated in Forks each year on the weekend nearest Sept. 16, Bella Swan's birthday in the books.
More than 1,000 visitors are expected to attend this weekend's festivities, which began Thursday to celebrate sparkling vampires, werewolves and Forks' famously rainy weather, Andros said.
Despite reports to the contrary, Andros said fans of both the series and the natural surroundings continue to stream into the West End year-round.
Twilight tourism, she said, has defied predictions of a fast decline for vampire and werewolf tourism once the books and movies no longer were being written or made.
Tens of thousands
The Forks Visitor Center still is counting visitors in the tens of thousands — and numbers have begun to increase again, Andros added.
It's not the more than 70,000 who visited the West End town's visitor center at the height of the Twilight craze in 2010, but after dipping to a little more than 40,000 in 2011 and 2012, the 2013 numbers are adding up to be a better year, she said.
Those who skip the visitor center aren't counted, such as return guests who already know where they're going and what they are doing in the Forks area, so the actual number of visitors is thought to be considerably higher, according to visitor center statements in past years.
Andros said the addition of a Facebook page for Stephenie Meyer Days has changed the nature of the way people are visiting the area.
Many visitors to the festival — including some from England, Ireland and South America — have been talking via Facebook for months and already know each other by the time they meet face to face in Forks, Andros said.
“There's no such thing as being alone in Forks,” she said.
Meyer has attended only one event in the past and is not expected to be in Forks this weekend.
Hilly and Hannah Hindi of The Hillywood Show will return to Forks for a second year of “Twilight” send-ups.
The Hillywood Show is a website featuring satire sketches, character impersonations and song and dance parodies of big-box office films, including the “Twilight” movies.
The Hindi sisters will be available for a meet-and-greet from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. today at Sully's Drive-In, 220 S. Forks Ave., and will host a music festival from 6 p.m. to midnight at The Roundhouse at 110 Business Park Road.
On Saturday, The Hillywood Show look-alike contest will be held at 10 a.m. at Pacific Plaza.
Forever in Forks
A new group from Arizona, Forever in Forks, has organized several events for Twilight fans, with a target of raising $5,000 for Stand Up 2 Cancer.
The events are part of a package deal, with exclusive items available only to ticket-holders, and include a welcome breakfast in the park, lunch at First Beach in LaPush, a Twilight site scavenger hunt and movie viewings at Forks High School.
No information about ticket sales was available this week.
A “Guy's List” of activities for those who accompany Twilight fans but who would rather do something else is available at the Forks Area Chamber of Commerce website at www.forkswa.com/twilight.
The Forks Logging & Mill Tour takes visitors to see active logging sites and mill operations in the Forks area. The tour is from 8:45 a.m. to noon today. To reserve a seat on the tour, phone 360-374-2531 or 800-443-6757.
The West End Thunder Drag Races roar from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Forks Airport.
The Forks Police Department softball game begins at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Individual or small-group activities include hiking in the Hoh Rain Forest, fishing in one of the many rivers near Forks or surfing at LaPush.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.