Gilmore Girls Fan Fest is a festival started by fans, for fans.
Somewhere between our life in Austin, Texas and a journey to Maine we fell in love with Litchfield County. To be specific, it was 2016, the weekend of 4th of July. We (Marcus and Jennie) were driving through Connecticut, sitting in traffic near Hartford. I (Jennie) took the lull as the perfect opportunity to google the distance between our piece of pavement and Washington Depot (because, when in Hartford...) and I casually mentioned to Marcus that the next time we're in the area I'd really love to stop in for a visit. I've actually had Litchfield County on my must-do list for years, but this was my moment to mention it to the one guy who works really, really hard to make my dreams come true. A few minutes later I posed the infamous "why" question.
Why hasn't anyone organized a Stars Hollow celebration for fans? Or, some type of Gilmore festival of sorts for that matter. I mean, I haven't even been privy to the details surrounding a tiny little event or a simple mini tour. And, if you ask me, Gilmore Girls almost demands it. Town Hall meetings, large amounts of coffee and lots of good food sounded like a pretty good idea to me. We'd even bring in a little bit of pomp and circumstance because fans are friendly and full of fun. Ok, maybe more than a little. It got to the point that I really couldn't imagine a world where we couldn't visit our own Stars Hollow alive and present. Unfathomable. "Let's do this!", I thought. That's when we decided, it was time to bring the idea to life at least one weekend of the year.
I told Marcus I was going to call someone and see if they'd consider it. And, yes, it totally started as a "pie in the sky idea". I'm actually quite good at those. To my sheer and utter delight, I found out that the town legitimately utilizes town hall as a meeting space and that they actually have a real life town selectman. When I reached out to the town selectman in Washington, he was kind enough to consider our request and the next thing I knew we were sitting in a real town hall meeting presenting our ideas.
Then, in true Gilmore fashion I started talking fast and making lists. And, boy did we make some phone calls.
Six weeks later, we had enough information to present the idea to the world. We had great interest from literally everyone we've told, including several cast members. In fact, we got commitment from our first confirmed cast member (shoutout, Jackson Douglas!) when the idea was just being formed in August 2016.
We had a great time in Washington in 2016 and exceptional feedback from the attendees, the media and the local business owners, so we decided to do it all over in 2017. With fond memories and the demand for more, we planned to host the event in Washington again, but after many, many discussions the town couldn't accommodate us in October, so we looked for the most eager and accommodating town in Litchfield County and responded to Kent. After all, it was voted the best place in New England for fall foliage. And, we had the chance to see why. Quaint, charming and accommodating. Kent was a lovely place to put on the festival.
After our first adventure in Kent, we continued to get emails for another fan fest immediately following our October get together. And, frankly, who are we to say no to a party? So, off to October 2018, we went! That year it felt right to stay in Kent and about 1,000 of our closest friends agreed.
While we were planning the 2018 event in Kent we connected with the town of Unionville, Canada (about 40 minutes from Toronto’s airport) and they asked if we wanted to put on an event in the very place the pilot was filmed. We thought long and hard about it, shared our thoughts with the 2018 attendees and here we are, planning for our 1st international GGFF! We’ll be in Unionville, Canada this fall (dates will be announced soon) and we’re still trying to plan a gathering in Kent, Connecticut too, because now we’re just really fond of it. Either way, we hope you’ll join us somewhere this year. And, no matter where we see, you must remember Stars Hollow is in our hearts and no where will ever be exactly like it.