A small town, moody scenery, and the lure of vampires - what isn't there to like? Ok, so the vampires may be fictional but that's not stopping fans of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series from flockinging to Forks, WA. The Forks community is taking their status as a literary tourism hotspot in stride. The Forks Chamber of Commerce website proudly proclaims that they are the home of Twilight. Just how many Twilighters are visiting Forks? According to this CNN story the visitors center sometimes receives a hundred Twilighters a day. Not bad for a town of just over 3,000 people. I didn't have to look too hard to find fans that have made the trek.
Screamingdaisy went Forks or bust this past week. She and her friend, who made the 2.5 hour trek to Forks on a whim, were thrilled to find Twilight touches through the town, from the Bella and Edward sign at the Tourist Center to the "Reserved for Dr. Cullen" sign at the local hospital.
Amy, who blogs at Because I Knew You, spent four days in Forks with some fellow Twilighters from around the US. They spent ten months planning the trip and arrived in town for Forks' Stephenie Meyer Day.
It was the reason we chose this particular weekend to go to Forks. Our plan for the day was to simply do all the activities that Forks had planned. The entire town went all out to welcome all the Twilight fans.
One of our stops was at the Forks High School. They were giving tour of the school and took us to all of Bella's classes.
That high school is seeing a bit of a revival thanks to the Twilighters. Fans of the books are championing a campaign to save it from the wrecking ball. The campaign, called Twilighters for Forks, was started by some Twilighters looking for a way to give back to the community that gave them so much pleasure.
In talking to members of the Forks Chamber of Commerce, they learned that a portion of Forks High School had been condemned and that the façade of the now-famous high school was in danger of being knocked down. Nancy said, “This news gave our family a jolt and a sense of urgency to help.” As it turned out, their traveling companions, Lori Joffs and Laura Byrne-Cristiano (owners/administrators of www.twilightlexicon.com), had expressed the same desire to do something to help the city and were eager to place a link on their Web site with the intent of reaching as many Twilight fans as possible. “We all knew that if the ‘Twilight’ fans understood what was happening in Forks, they would want to help out, too,” said Lori Joffs.
Chels, from The McGee's Blog was in Forks for Stephenie Meyer day as well. I am more than a little jealous of her Quileute bonfire at La Push, how about you?
The Quileute tribe put on an Indian dance for us. It was really cool, not at all what I expected but neat non the less. Then after the Wolf Dance, we headed back to the beach for a bon fire and storytelling. A storyteller from the Quileute tribe told us all the Quileute legends.
The fog was so thick and just completely wrapped the beach. Forks was crystal clear, but you couldn't see 100 feet in front of you at First Beach. It was so fun to listen to the stories.
Owl at Owl and Glass Cat Review Blog happened to be Forks before reading Twilight. The magic was still there.
As I was hiking along the Hoh river trail, before I had read any of the Twilight books, before I knew they were set in Washington, I kept thinking “This is the kind of forest that would make you believe in magic. This is the kind of forest where a witch could pop out from behind a tree.”
There are all kinds of magic. One of the most powerful is the magic of our imagination and we love authors who take us along for a ride with theirs. Then there is the magic in friendship. And sometimes when we're really lucky we're able to combine the two. Amy, whom I mentioned above, reminded me of this in a post on the real reason she went to Forks.
This trip was about so much more than just Twilight. True, Twilight is what brought us together but this trip was about celebrating friendship and love and laughter.
Fans meeting other fans. Friends meeting friends. Walking the spot where you favourite characters and authors have been with the encouragement of locals. That is the magic of literary tourism.
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