FORKS — Hoards of diehard “Twilight” fans are expected to make their way to the 2017 Forever Twilight in Forks celebration this week.
The annual celebration, marking fictional character Bella’s Sept. 13 birthday each year, starts Thursday, but pre-celebration events start today.
Lissy Andros, executive director of the Forks Chamber of Commerce, said she expects 800 to 1,000 people from around the world to visit the town of roughly 4,000 people each day of the festival. The festivities are scheduled to end Sunday.
“It’s absolutely one of the most fun events you could attend,” she said. “It’s like a giant family reunion.”
The annual gathering celebrates the “Twilight” franchise of vampire-themed fantasy romance novels by author Stephenie Meyer — and accompanying movies starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner.
The four books center around Isabella “Bella” Swan, who moves to Forks from Phoenix and falls in love with a 104-year-old vampire named Edward Cullen, who appears to be 17.
A love triangle develops with the introduction of Jacob Black, a werewolf.
Andros said it’s the third year since the festival was rebranded, but the celebration has gone on for about a dozen years.
She said there’s fun to be had for anyone, even those just getting into “Twilight.”
“People who are new ‘Twilight’ fans, they catch on with the enthusiasm,” she said.
Fans could face delays as they make their way to Forks due to the closure of U.S. Highway 101 along Lake Crescent.
The highway closed at 6 a.m. Monday and could remain closed through Thursday, when the festival officially starts.
Andros said a number of fans already plan on taking Highway 101 along the coast from south of Forks, avoiding the problem altogether. Others will need to take state Highway 112 to get around the closure.
Andros said many of the events that include meals are already sold out or tickets are no longer being sold, but tickets are still available for the parties Friday and Saturday evenings.
She said there’s “a lot of fun new events this year” that she believes people from across the North Olympic Peninsula would enjoy.
These include a 5K run, events at the high school and a number of free events, including free movie screenings of “Eclipse” and “Beauty and the Beast.”
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.