TRINITY HANNING, 16, told me her stagecraft teacher said “she is possessed by a demon again,” because of wearing her deep red-colored contacts to school.
Hanning’s bashful laugh belied her bold costume including eye color. Her attire would usually stand right out in Forks, but last weekend she fit in with the rest of the Forever Twilight Festival scene outside Forks City Hall building.
Seemingly hundreds of people crowded the small lawn in front of the building.
Portable bleachers had been set up, flanking the city of Forks sign.
Some people were in costumes, most wore lanyards with Very Important Twilighter badges and a definite majority of the people were female.
Hanning was there with her friend, Dominique LeFrancis, 18, and the supportive LeFrancis parents, Michael and Reachel.
Michael looked a little awkward and said, “I’m just here and I just fix things.”
I must have looked at him quizzically because Reachel said, “like necklaces.”
The whole group was visiting from Everett, this being their third Twilight festival in a row.
The girls were dressed up as characters from the Twilight movie series, Alice Cullen and Jane of the Volturi.
Amy Laird, 43, of Chicago, Ill., said “Twilight got me reading.”
She explained that she never liked to read and her mom used to read to her to help her through school.
“Now I have a mini-library at home and book friends,” she said, adding that her mom is “blown away” by her reading these days.
This is Laird’s first Forever Twilight Festival, though she said she has been following the event online for years.
“This one is extra special because of the dual anniversary and I didn’t want to miss it,” she said, referring to the 10th anniversary of the release of the fourth book in the “Twilight” trilogy, “Breaking Dawn,” and the 10th anniversary of the release of the first movie in the “Twilight” series.
Alex and Kenneth Rodriguez, 44 and 47 respectively, came from Worcester, Mass., to Forks for the festival.
Alex said she first heard about the event when she attended a smaller one in Gatlinburg, Tenn. She has been wanting to come for about five years, she said.
Kenneth, her supportive husband, said, “I like the movie and stuff, but I’m not a hardcore fan or anything.”
When I asked if they liked it here, the Rodriguezes simultaneously said, “We love it.”
Their favorite part? The hike to Second Beach in La Push, “though it nearly killed me,” Alex said.
The hike was Thursday morning and hosted by actor Kiowa Gordon, who played Embry Call in the movie series.
Neither Alex nor Kenneth commented on the actor, but said they liked all the trees here because back in Massachusetts the forest is much different, consisting mainly of deciduous, broadleaf trees.
Alyssa Lee and Ariel Reaves had also congregated for the festival’s group photo.
Both ladies were in their early 20s and hailed from Florida, though Lee is currently working an internship in California.
Reaves flew to Seattle to meet up with Lee and hang out together for the Twilight festival.
“We have been planning this for a year,” Reaves said. “We want to move here, it’s so beautiful.”
Lee added that after being in California where it’s so dry, the cool dampness of the West End is a very nice change.
They both said they are “huge Twilight fans.”
Reaves said, “We have spent a long time in movie premiere lines in Florida.”
As far as returning next year, it depends upon finances and which actors will be coming.
Zorina Barker has lived on the West End for most of her life. She is married to a Forks native who works in the timber industry. Both of her kids have been homeschooled in the wilds of the Sol Duc Valley. She can be reached at 360-461-7928 or [email protected]
West End Neighbor appears in the PDN every other Tuesday.
Her next column will be Oct. 2.