A Place Both Wonderful and Strange
Twin Peaks Fest Is Like When Maple Syrup Collides with Ham
There’s nothing wrong with wrapping yourself in garbage bags and pretending to be a murder victim from a TV show. In fact, it’s a lot of fun. Everyone should try it.
We’re not going to sit here and try to explain Twin Peaks for the three-quillionth time. Either you’ve seen it and you like David Lynch and we’re already on the same page about it being the high-water mark of broadcast entertainment/art, or you haven’t, in which case, oh how we envy your virgin eyes when you finally get around to watching it (which needs to be soon). If somehow you’ve caught a few episodes and didn’t enjoy them, please go read something else. Not kidding.
The Twin Peaks Festival began in 1993 as a small fan-organized event in North Bend, Washington, about two years after the television series ended and a year after Fire Walk with Me. It has evolved into an annual happening that attracts fans from all over the world. This was the first year to feature a panel and meet-and-greet with actors from the series, which was all we needed to convince ourselves that it was going to be more than a bunch of lonely people in bad costumes doing backward-talking-midget impressions and arguing about owls. So we bought tickets and made plans to be in North Bend during the first weekend of August.
Most of the exterior shots for the show were filmed in North Bend and neighboring Snoqualmie in the late 80s and early 90s, sites that still attract diehard fans year-round. This made it especially curious when we encountered numerous locals of all ages who had never heard of the show and didn’t understand why we were standing in the middle of the street taking pictures of what may or may not have been the location for that one scene in Fire Walk with Me where Laura Palmer is screaming about something and then finds a tiny pinecone.
The three-day festival cost $170 ($190 with the bus tour) to attend and this year attracted about 180 fans (the largest turnout since 2002, according to its organizers). We spent a good part of the weekend trying to figure out what the organizers spent that money on besides appearance fees (it certainly wasn’t security—a couple of our friends snuck into multiple portions of the event without hassle). In hindsight, it was a fair price for being given the opportunity to crap in the Roadhouse and hold hands with Sheryl Lee one last time.
What follows is a run-down of the 2011 Twin Peaks festival, written in a series of Yelp-style reviews (except we used the Log Lady’s logs as a rating system instead of stars).
SHERYL LEE (LAURA PALMER)
Although the celebrity cast did not choose me as the winner of the costume contest, I was later approached by a rather flamboyant festival organizer who said I had been “summoned by the queen” and that “the queen gets what the queen wants.” I did not know what this meant. Then we met and you gave me a five-minute-long handshake, laser-beam eye contact, and about ten minutes to explain how much wolves mean to me, through Aesop’s fables and the visual aids of my tattoos, which you asked someone to take pictures of to review later at home. You asked, “Do you know the one about the scorpions and the monks?” It was like my White Lodge.