As the debut of the new “Twin Peaks” TV series approaches, fan anticipation is reaching a fever pitch, 27 years after the show that turned the Snoqualmie Valley into a pop-culture icon of the Pacific Northwest.
The hit show, which has spawned a culture all its own, drives consistent tourism from all over the world to Valley cities every year with an emphasis in the summer for the annual Twin Peaks Festival. But the series isn’t short of fans from within the Valley, either.
Because there is so much anticipation from local fans, events in Snoqualmie and North Bend are being held to celebrate and drive excitement for the new series.
On Saturday, May 13, the city of Snoqualmie is hosting a Twin Peaks-themed scavenger hunt starting at 3 p.m. at Centennial Fields Park and will take participants to various filming sites. After the scavenger hunt, fans can meet cast members from the new series and crew from past series at a 6:45 p.m. screening of the Twin Peaks movie “Fire Walk With Me” at the DirtFish warehouse.
On Sunday, May 21, North Bend is hosting a day of guided tours of filming locations and has organized an already sold-out viewing party of the premiere at Compass Outdoor Adventure.
Even city officials are part of the excitement. Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson has been the subject of interviews about the city and its connection to the series. Larson has previously done an interview with a reporter from Germany who traveled to Snoqualmie for the 2014 Twin Peaks Festival and to get an authentic take on the area, was recently interviewed on the Twin Peaks Worldwide podcast, and was part of an interview for a piece on the Travel Channel filmed last week in Snoqualmie (May 4).
Larson said many series, movies, and commercials have been filmed in the Valley, “but I can’t recall a TV show or movie that has this kind of staying power, devoted fans come into the Valley every year.”
While Snoqualmie is just a filming location for the show, both fans and residents see similarities between the Valley and the fictional town of Twin Peaks. Larson recalled one of the plot threads in the original series was a large development project to be built on forested land in Twin Peaks. During the filming of the original series, discussion about the Snoqualmie Ridge development was taking place.
“It is curious, how much of real life here in the Valley seeped into the show itself,” he said. “There are clear parallels about this intrigue about big development coming to their town. ‘Twin Peaks’ came into town for filming right in the heat of that.”
Mary Hutter, one of the organizers of the Twin Peaks-themed events at Festival at Mount Si, is a diehard Twin Peaks fan and was involved in the preparation for the premiere party in North Bend.
“The city of North Bend wanted to do something and decided they want to do it right and get actual fans involved,” she said. “It’s a party where we are going to get pie, coffee, a bar with Twin Peaks-themed cocktails, doughnuts. Believe it or not, there is a Twin Peaks themed pizza truck — we have them coming to do the food.”
The event will even have an East Coast feed of the show, so attendees can see the premiere early and don’t have to wait until 9 p.m., the official West Coast airing time.
Hutter moved from Michigan to Washington in 2014 after coming to the area every year since 2006 for the annual Twin Peaks Festival. A fan of the show since she was 14, Hutter said Twin Peaks has been a constant in her life.
“I saw the very first episode air when I was in the eighth grade, and immediately loved it, it very much drew me to it and I was a fan ever since,” she said. “It was something I liked and made me happy throughout my life. I started dating my husband in college, he watched it with me in our dorm room.”
Hutter and other Twin Peaks fans stayed up into the early morning hours to watch the filming of the show in 2015. She said the crew let them watch and helped them get a good look at the process.
“We would sit outside of Twede’s until four in the morning. Getting to watch David Lynch direct was amazing,” she said.
Hutter said the show has created such a large community of fans all over the world by capturing the real feel and atmosphere of the Valley.
“It’s all a like a big family and its own world, the community is really welcoming and just a bunch of amazing people,” she said. “The town is a character. (They captured) the feeling of the Valley and what it is like to be here.”
The new season of “Twin Peaks” airs on May 21, on Showtime.