Emily and I have long been planning a trip to the annual Judy Garland Festival in Grand Rapids, MN. For those who don't know, the Judy Garland Festival (or the "fest" for short, and between myself and Emily, "FEST" or "FEST '10") is typically held the 4th week of June in Judy's hometown of Grand Rapids, and the majority of the events take place at the Sawmill Inn, right across the street from the Judy Garland Birthplace.
I have been to the Fest 3 times, once when I was 12, again when I was 13, and again when I was 14. In the words of our friend Ashley, it's probably "the only thing weirder than a Trekkie convention." It's hilarious. The munchkins are there (the surviving ones, anyway), a special guest like, for example, Lorna Luft, is always there (I met her my first year there), and PLENTY of crazed Judy fans. My second year I won this award for Wizard of Oz knowledge, and was interviewed for NPR, which was magnificent (though I don't know if it ever aired). So there are a lot of opportunities to really relish in Judyness.
Since I haven't been in almost 10 years, and Emily has never been, we hatched a plan to go in the summer of 2010. We have just begun the initial planning stages of this event--we now have a room booked at the Sawmill Inn, a room directly tailored to our specifications (which were simply "the most hilarious room they have")--including a microwave and a refrigerator, and a prime location next to the pool. We're also starting to laugh at the Sawmill restaurant menu, which, for us, means we're STOKED to eat there. We are SOOOOO EXCITED!!
Here are a few pictures from Fest 1998.
My June Allyson autograph from Fest '98
My sister and myself with June Allyson, Fest '98. June Allyson was obsessed with my sister. I find that hilarious.
With my sister and my friend Anna at the "Get Acquainted Buffet", Fest '98. My bangs are horrific, and as we've discussed...bad puberty.
With Jerry Maren, the "Lollipop Kid" from The Wizard of Oz. The one in the middle, not the elf-like gnome thing on the right. That's my sister.
With Lorna Luft. I was shy to meet her (I was 12 years old), until she boomed at me "Come on over! I don't bite!" And then she proceeded to puzzle over my name for a while, and was still muttering it to herself as I walked away. Brilliant.