Part of this week’s Twilight festival is the new Forever Twilight in Forks Collection at the Rainforest Arts Center, 35 N. Forks Ave. Forks resident Donald Grafstrom is shown on the motorcycle ridden by character Jacob Black in the movie series when the collection items arrived in Forks this year. (Christi Baron/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Hundreds expected at Forever Twilight in Forks festivities

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 jmajor@peninsuladailynews.com.

Here is the schedule of events for the 2017 Forever Twilight in Forks celebration:

Today

• 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. — T-shirt quilt-making class, DNR Conference Room, 411 Tillicum Lane, $25 for one day, $40 for both.

Wednesday

• 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. — T-shirt quilt-making class, DNR Conference Room, 411 Tillicum Lane, $25 for one day, $40 for both.

• 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. — Cape Flattery excursion, Meeting place to be determined, $75 includes transportation, box lunch and drinks. Tickets sold in advance.

• 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Forever Twilight in Forks (FTF) Collection preview & quilt display, Rainforest Arts Center Alcove, 11 N. Forks Ave., free.

• 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Meet ’N’ Eat on Bella’s Birthday, Sully’s Drive-In, 220 N. Forks Ave; off the menu.

• 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. — FTF Paint & Sip, Upper Left Studio, 81 N. Forks Ave., Suite A, $37. Tickets sold in advance.

• 5:15 p.m. — Bella’s Birthday Party, Forks Outfitters patio, 950 S. Forks Ave., free.

• 7:15 p.m. — FTF Movie Night — Bill Condon’s “Beauty and the Beast,” Rainforest Arts Center, 35 N. Forks Ave., movie entry is free, food truck from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Thursday

• 11 a.m. to noon — Newborn Gathering hosted by OlderWomanGroup (OWG) 1411 S. Forks Ave.

• 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — FTF Collection preview & quilt display; Rainforest Arts Center Alcove, 11 N. Forks Ave.; free

• 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. — FTF “Official” Cosplayers Meet Up, Undisclosed location and by invitation only

• 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. — Meet ‘N’ Eat with Jack Morrissey; Pacific Pizza, 870 S. Forks Ave.; off the menu

• 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. — FTF Paint & Sip; Upper Left Studio, 81 N. Forks Ave., Suite A.; $37. Tickets sold in advance only

• 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. — FTF Welcome to Forks; Fern Acres, 1154 Big Burn Place; free

• 9 p.m. — FTF ticket pick-up, 1411 S. Forks Ave.

• 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. — “Before” Karaoke Party hosted by our favorite human, Michael Welch (Mike Newton); Blakeslee’s Bar & Grill, 1222 S. Forks Ave.; free, 21+

Friday

• 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. — Meet the Olympic Coven Breakfast; Forks Elks Lodge, 941 Merchants Road; $15, tickets sold in advance only

• 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Twilight Bazaar; Rainforest Arts Center Plaza, 35 N. Forks Ave.; free to shop

• 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — FTF Collection preview & quilt display; Rainforest Arts Center Alcove, 11 N. Forks Ave.; free

• 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. — Line dance lessons; Forks Elks Lodge, 941 Merchants Road; free

• 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. — FTF ticket pick-up, 1411 S. Forks Ave.

• 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. — School supply drive, 1411 S. Forks Ave.

• 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. — Victoria’s Army 5K Fun Run hosted by our favorite human, Michael Welch (Mike Newton); DNR Reade Hill Trail, park at Forks Airport; $10, pre-register at FTF Welcome to Forks on Thursday or from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the trailhead.

• 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. — Pre-graduation Bella Italia dinner at “The Lodge”; Rainforest Arts Center, 35 N. Forks Ave.; included in VIT ticket

• 8:15 p.m. to midnight — The Fandom Family Party Pre-Graduation Celebration and VIT signing event; Rainforest Arts Center, 35 N. Forks Ave.; VIT Ticket or $50

Saturday

• 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. — Costume contest registration; FHS Commons; free

• 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Spartan Store; FHS Commons; all proceeds benefit Associated Student Body

• 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Concession stand; FHS; off the menu

• 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.— American Red Cross blood drive, FHS Room 203

• 10 a.m. — Forks High School graduation ceremony, FHS Commons; free

• 10:30 a.m. — Our Annual Forks Fandom Family Photo; FHS Commons; photos available for purchase online

• 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. — FTF costume contest; FHS Commons; free

• 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. — Tour Forks High School with the Olympic Coven; FHS; free

• 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. — Twilight Saga actor signing event featuring Jackson Rathbone, Chaske Spencer and Michael Welch; FHS near the library; $125. Tickets sold in advance only

• 2:15 p.m. to 4:20 p.m. — Watch-Along; FHS Commons; free

• 4 to 5 p.m. — FTF Paint & Sip; Upper Left Studio, 81 N. Forks Ave., Suite A; $37. Tickets sold in advance.

• 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. — FTF Collection preview & quilt display; Rainforest Arts Center Alcove, 11 N. Forks Ave.; free

• 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. — Traditional salmon bake fundraiser; Ki’tla Center Roundhouse at 100 La Push Road; $12 per dinner and limited to first 100.

• 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 pm. — United Nations Coastal Jam — traditional drumming and singing with the coastal tribes; Ki’tla Center Roundhouse at 100 La Push Road; free

• 9 p.m. to midnight — Fire and Ice Gala; Rainforest Arts Center, 35 N. Forks Ave.; VIT ticket or $100

Sunday

• 10 a.m. to noon. — Bella and Edward’s Engagement Celebration Brunch, Fern Acres. No regular parking available at venue, park at Forks Elks Lodge, 941 Merchants Road; VIT ticket

• 1 to 3 p.m. — Vampire Central FTF cosplayer appreciation event; Miller Tree Inn, 654 E. Division St.; free

• 4 p.m. — Rialto Beach hike with Chaske Spencer; Rialto Beach, Mora Road; free, but pre-register at FTF Welcome to Forks on Thursday

• 7 to 8 p.m. — Meet ‘N’ Eat at the Treaty Line with Chaske Spencer; Three Rivers Resort, 7764 La Push Road; off the menu.

• 9 p.m. to midnight — Festival afterparty; Blakeslee’s Bar & Grill, 1222 S. Forks Ave.; no cover, 21+

For more information, visit www.forkswa.com.