Hello friends! I have something really awesome and special to share with you today. I had heard of this event from a distant from a few people, but as I have gotten further and further into the world of blogging, and becoming more aware of the different events that take place all over the world.
One of the events that just recently came to my attention was Stephenie Meyer Day, which takes place in Forks, Washington, the home of the fictional character of Stephenie Meyer’s iconic Twilight Saga. I saw it from a distance, and I wasn’t sure what it was. So I was really excited when Katie, who is an active participant and cosplays as Victoria, asked me to help her out, in sharing this awesome event with my followers, and learning more about it. Its a whole weekend, which also includes the event, Forever in Forks. Confused? I was a little bit. I didn’t really know the difference between the two, or what we really went on. Luckily, I had Katie’s awesome help to tune me in to the 411. Check it out.
Sara: What are the differences between Stephenie Meyer Days and Forever in Forks? Are they two different events that coincide the same weekend, or what?
SMD: Stephenie Meyer Day is an annual celebration of the world-renowned author of The Twilight Saga, held in the series’ setting of Forks, Washington. Designed to coincide with the September 13th birthday of Bella Swan, Stephenie Meyer has grown to include an entire weekend of festivities. An estimated 100,000 Twilight fans have visited Forks per year since the surge in popularity of The Twilight Saga.
Forever in Forks is an annual gather for Twilight fans to come together in support of a good cause. Each year, a Forever Party is held in a Twilight-related city, with proceeds going toward the chosen charity. In 2012, Forever in Forks raised $2,500 in Los Angeles for Alex’s Lemonade Stand.
Stephenie Meyer Day and Forever in Forks intersected for the first time in 2013.
Sara: How did these events come about? Who was involved, what was the inspiration, how long as it been going on?
SMD: Stephenie Meyer Day was proclaimed in 2007, following a visit by the Twi-Queen herself. Marcia Bingham (then ED of the Forks Chamber of Commerce) and employee Mike Gurling came up with the idea to honor the author for her contribution to the boost in tourism to the isolated, rainforest community.
The Chamber of Commerce officiated over the event until 2010 when a group of local business owners volunteered to take it over and to the next level. Through 2010, the event was rather small scale and held in the city park with vendors, a lookalike contest and birthday cake to celebrate Bella’s birthday. With formation of the SMD 2011 committee, new ideas and a clear vision of where the event would go in the future was formed.
A cast of professional lookalikes were commissioned along with organize, Twilight-themed events like St. Marcus’ Day festival, Bella and Edward’s wedding and prom. Local businesses donated funds and merchandise to cover expenses and prizing.
After 2012, the SMD committee dissolved and two separate groups formed. For the purposes of this article, I can only speak for the original Stephenie Meyer Day group that holds the domain name and Facebook page of the same name.
For SMD 2013, the cast had been expanded to a full Cullen family including Nessie and Jake, along with two beautiful Nomads. We had the privilege of having a professional publicist work with us, helping with social media, news releases and website content. A direct result of this collaboration is our partnership with the very popular Forever in Forks organization and a long anticipated return of the Queen herself, Stephenie Meyer.
Sara: How many people come to these events? Is it a huge worldwide known thing, or is it small and intimate?
SMD: This Stephenie Meyer Day, we had fans come from Colombia, Chile, Japan and the United Kingdom! We have had visitors attend from all over the world, but most of our guests are from the United States. However, with the growing popularity of our Facebook page, we’re interacting more and more with guests from other countries, most of whom are already saving to make the trip next year.
Each year, we have anywhere between 500-1000 people attend Stephenie Meyer Day.
Sara: What kind of atmosphere is created there? Why would this be something a Twilight fan needs to do?
SMD: The atmosphere created during Stephenie Meyer Day is one of love and inclusion. Everyone who travels to Forks has at least one thing in common: a love for Twilight that’s so strong, they’re willing to visit a small, remote logging town that’s difficult to get to, and often far from where they live. The event is a safe space for Twilight fans, many of whom can relate to feeling ridiculed or stereotyped for being Twilight fans.
More than that, though, visiting Forks during Stephenie Meyer Day is an opportunity to really live and breathe the world of Twilight. It’s the only time of year that fans can visit the town and meet real “vampires”-the Olympic coven, our group of Twilight character look-alikes. It’s also the only time of year that Forks hosts Twilight-specific events, such as Bella’s birthday party or a vampire baseball game. Essentially, Stephenie Meyer Day is the ultimate Twilight convention.
Sara: How is each year different from previous years. What makes someone return each year?
SMD: Many of our guests have been to Stephanie Meyer Day multiple times, and it’s primarily due to the connections they make with other fans, the event organizers and the Olympic Coven. They’re excited for the event every year, but more than that, they’re excited to reconnect with the friends they’ve made, most of whom live in different states, or even different countries.
Each year is different because we really strive to offer fans new and unique events. Our events tend to be inspired by plot points in the book, character traits or locations featured in the novels. In 2012, for instance, we recreated Edward and Bella’s wedding and reception. This year, one of our more memorable events was eating s’mores on First Beach with Stephenie Meyer.
Sara: What are the MUSTS of the weekend? What are the events that you just CAN’T miss?
SMD: While every year is different, there are certain themes that live on from year to year. The event began as a simple celebration of Bella’s birthday, so we continue to throw a party for Bella and serve cake every year. And while there are no guarantees about what will be on the schedule, we always strive to feature local business and showcase local scenery, such as the beaches of La Push or the Hoh Rainforest. We want our fans to fall in love with the Pacific Northwest when they visit Forks, and they do; many of them are already planning their next trip before they leave.
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Sounds awesome, right? They really put in a TON of work and care into this event, and to making it the ultimate thing to do as a Twilight fan. In fact, I’m already planning on going next September, to be a part of this amazing thing. I saw pictures all over Facebook and Twitter, Instagram and more of my friends, and others, having an unforgettable time up in Forks, the entire weekend. I was floored when I saw that Stephenie Meyer had made an appearance, hanging out with the fans, eating s’mores, taking pictures and signing books. Incredible.
And if you don’t believe me, check out these fan reactions to the most recent SMD back in September of this year.
Sam Edward Moden:
“SMD was definitely an experience I’d love to do again for years and years to come. From the fabulous activities run by SMD and their wonderful cast who make the event one to remember.”
Melissa “Rosemelie” Rivett
“Stephenie Meyer Day is something that I will never forget; thanks in part to the amazing friends I went with and made, the town welcoming us in, the Olympic Coven bringing Twilight to life, and Stephenie Meyer herself showing up. There were so many different memorable events that I can vividly recall as though they just happened yesterday. To see people of all ages still coming out for something that all started a few years ago, and ‘ended’ a year ago with something truly spectacular. I can’t wait to go back to Forks and make more memories in 2014, and most likely, many more years to come!”
“My favorite thing about Stephenie Meyer Day 2013 was meeting everybody. They’re just so nice and they stay in character. I love them all! They make me feel like family! When it was time to go with the last event, and all of us had to do our goodbyes, I tried so hard to leave the tears and all the sadness. It was one of our favorite vacations! It made me shine the Twilight sense. I am so excited for next year!!”
“My favorite part was meeting everyone again and having Stephenie Meyer there and came over to sit by me. The beach party with the fire pit was truly awesome. And Emmett, my monkey man, carried me to the beach [Note: Kels is wheelchair bound and the chair couldn’t drive on the beach]. Victoria gave me her stole and Carlisle, my pretend husband, giving me his scarf really made my day.”
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Still not convinced? I’m surprised at you! I know my followers, and I know that you know a good thing when you see it!
I honestly think this sounds like one of the COOLEST things. The dedication of so many fans, gathering together in the town of Forks for some Twilight fun…its just awesome. Whether you’re a Twilight fan or not, you must admit that it sounds amazing. Imagine if we all went to New York City or London for a Mortal Instruments/Infernal Devices weekend. Or we…okay, I can’t think of anything else because so much of the fandoms are in these HUGE cities like New York and London and Los Angeles and such. What Twilight has in Forks, and the actual people in Forks, is a beautiful thing, and I definitely can’t wait to be a part of it.
They just announced their 2014 schedule, which made me incredibly excited. Its next September the 11th through the 14th of 2014. Definitely get on board with this. There are so many ways to keep track of them, to find out more and more information.
You can find them:
I hope to make it up the coast to Forks next September, and to meet all of these amazing people, and to experience the fun and unforgettable experience that is Stephenie Meyer Day. I hope that all of my Twilight followers will check this out, and hopefully start saving those pennies in order to go!
Keep an eye out, because we’ll have much more news in the future, and don’t forget to follow them on their various social medias to keep updated!
Also, keep an eye out in the next month or so for a detailed article on the what, when, where, and how of getting involved with this event. We’ll help you out with when to book your flight, rental cars, preregistration and where to stay, and all the nitty gritty!
So stay tuned, Twilight fans! There is SO much more to come. Until then, be safe ;)