Quick! Begin playing this song to set the tone before proceeding.
The year is 2000 and the air smells like crunchy leaves and cinnamon. The Gilmore Girls is about to teach us about relationships, talking fast, private schools, small towns, and coffee, coffee, coffee. Remember the cozy feeling that accompanies watching Lorelai comfort Rory? It’s a feeling I can’t ever shake, and it’s a feeling that brought me to Kent, Connecticut for Gilmore Girls Fan Fest.
About an hour on country roads outside of Hartford near the New York state border lies the quaint town of Kent, population 2,979. It’s a town with one market, one pizza shop, one gas station, and a drizzling of bed and breakfasts. You know, just like Stars Hollow.
I attended the weekend solo as the opportunity unexpectedly fell into my lap. I packed my bags to stay at Club Getaway and open myself up to a few hundred fans who, if nothing else, loved Gilmore Girls with me. Staying in a shared cabin in a rural town was an adventure I was up for.
Gilmore Girls Fan Fest itself hosted a range of activities from panels to a knit-a-thon to a cooking demonstration to a costume contest. The level of obscurity was high: this was no event for the casual watcher. For once, I felt like my annual marathon series screening was simply not enough Gilmore.
The cast panel was certainly the event highlight featuring Devon Schwartz, Todd Lowe, John Cabrera, Liz Torres, Biff Yeager, Rini Bell, Aris Alvarado, Brad Ellis, Eric Henry, Nick Holmes, and Tanc Sade (not pictured as he had leaped out of frame, and moderated by TV Line’s Managing Editor Kim Roots). Some of the best stories came from these folks, especially since not all of them worked directly together as their characters came in and out of the show at different moments.
One of the nicest things about this festival is that it is organized by two people who are truly just a couple who loves the show (well, maybe a woman and her very patient husband). Jeannie and Marcus deserve a name-dropping shout out, because there was a level of authenticity to every aspect of the event. I was truly so impressed by how they incorporated sponsors into the festival in a way that really did make it a better event, and not just money for advertising. Angry Orchard sampling, a a Red Vines bar (and mugs, which I still use regularly), and Rothy’s for the best festival citizenship (which I wore the whole festival).
Without a doubt, the best part of Gilmore Girls Fan Fest was meeting four new friends from four different states, and causing a ruckus around town as a motley crew. It drove home that what makes Gilmore Girls so lovable is the investment we have into the uniqueness of each character and how together they create an unstoppable ensemble. In omnia partatus.