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Bilbo’s Birthday in New York City

September 21, 2003 at 7:00 pm by maegwen  - 

Hullo my hearties! Time to join me, Pippin Skywalker Jedi Hobbit for another tale of wonder and adventure!

I had the most wonderful of chances to go to the New York Tolkien Society Birthday Celebration for Bilbo and Frodo’s late summer birthday and let me tell you it was awesome, awesome , AWESOME! 🙂

I arrived at a few minutes to 11:00 am and was disappointed at seeing only couple people there. My concerns soon dissipated after I briefly left to pick up a little cake for my two best friends Bilbo and Frodo and also a present to drop in the “Giftses” basket. I returned with the goodies and behold! MORE Tolkien fans! The whole Shire had been set loose!

The event was divided up into three rooms each with different activities and purposes. The first was a classroom (the event took place at a Marymount college). This is where the Trivia, Costume Contest, and announcements were to take place. A second room was a Internet center with about 20 Macs around where could surf for all things Tolkien (yes TORN included).

This room also featured a TTT strategy game being exhibited by Vinnie Tobia of Workshop. They also were running the Ralph Bakshi versions of the Hobbit and ROTK. 🙂 Anyway! Now for the events!

First…the place crowd was 40% under 12…so it made for a cute hobbit element. 🙂 We gathered a little after 11:00 in the main room and they had some opening comments and announcements about “The Gathering” in December.

Expected attendees include Mark Ferguson (Gil-Galad), Craig Parker
(Haldir) and Bruce Hopkins (Gamling). More stars have been invited and might attend but they don’t want to get everyone’s hopes up so they won’t tell us who else MAY come. It should be a great event with panels,seminars and workshops,and a triple feature showing of ALL THREE LOTR films (first two are EE)as well as many special guests including Jane Chance and Ted Nasmith.

I had the good pleasure of meeting Burdge Anthony, head chairmen of the NY Tolkien Society and all round jolly, nice guy. I told him I was with TORN (reporting anyway)and my nickname here was Pippin Skywalker. He suddenly became (jokingly) nervous saying “Your going to tell all the bad things we say about TORN in your report right.” LOL.

Anyway when things got underway even though this gentleman had my real name right in front of him for those signed up a trivia contest he STILL persisted (obstinate fellow) in calling me by my nickname at TORN (Well I RSVP’s with that lol). First he announced in front of all that PippinSkywalker from TORN was there and had everyone clap (thankfully I’m not the nervous type lol), and later during Trivia he addressed me as Miss Pippin Skywalker, LOL! The insanity never stops. 🙂

We had a very funny Trivia contest where the goal was to stump the staff to win prizes. There were many hilarious incidents and questions such as German fan who was living in NY and knew an entire Dwarf poem by heart; cute little children attempting to stump the Geek Panel (this was Stump The Geek Trivia Contest), and many more funny little things you just had to be there to hear and see. There was a nice little table full or various LOTR goodies including Sting, Art of the Two Towers, Bilbo and Frodo busts, Games, and a talking Sauron figure (ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY NOT FOR SALE! LOL).

After this I meandered over a few times to the Internet Room where Vinnie Tobia of Game Workshop was demonstrating a TTT strategy game. This was a truly marvelous piece of work. It was a miniature set of Helms Deep with hand painted action figures which you role the dice to move. You can be Aragorn and the elven warriors or the Uruk Hai army.

There were several people playing the game at one time and they had several rounds of play (I just watched). Vinnie was really nice and courteous and aside from extensively explaining and showing people the game, he answered all my questions for this report. Apparently there is ANOTHER strategy game coming out in 3-4 months for ROTK which is a set of the last major conflict in ROTK (probably Gondor/Pellenor Fields)and will include Easterling Warrior figures. For info on this and other games go to: www.gameworkshop.com/lotr. All figures you have to hand paint…the game can be assembled in a few hours.

Also during the course of the day there was a “Book Toss” where everyone takes their old, unwanted and even downright despised books to slam them on the floor and then pick them up to be sent to a library.

Later on there was a magnificent costume contest where people of all ages showed off their costumes representing all the peoples of Middle Earth (save dwarves lol). There was a 12 year old dressed as Aragorn, several dressed as elves (including a 6 year old dressed as Legolas), a couple of hobbits, and a delightful as well as hilarious boy dressed as a Nazgul with his head totally covered in a black shirt (poor feller probably couldn’t tell night and day apart lol).

Among the winners was a young boy dressed up in the best fan Frodo Baggins costume I’ve ever seen complete with brown vest and matching velvet cape, elven leaf brooch, Sting, and even hairy hobbit feet!

After this we filed in for the birthday celebration complete with a charming birthday cake for Bilbo and Frodo with candles lit after the familiar chant of “Speech, speech!” We sang to happy birthday to our dear hobbits and then blew out the candles.

While everyone still had their mouths filled with the hobbit goodness, the raffles began (all of which I was entered into lol);one was for a replica of Sting,another for a signed Brothers Hildebrandt signed painting of Gandalf the White, and lastly to tickets to the Gathering, a big event happening in December in Toronto.

This overall was a marvelous, MARVELOUS event, not only for the activities but most importantly for the wonderful people there who created such a wonderful ambiance and camaraderie that can only be found among fans of JRR Tolkien. It was a wonderful celebration and I believe Tolkien’s spirit was there wandering among the halls of Mandos smiling down on his beloved fans below.

I’ll never forget the ecstatic lady who walked up to me when I was online in the Internet and room and asked merrily “Are you Pippin?” and hugged me like I was family because I was with TORN. 🙂 Another funny story was on the elevator down to the ground floor a girl exclaimed, “Is anyone thinking of going to the TORN LA Oscar Party?” to which I replied I was interested. They were trying to gather people from NY to go to LA. 🙂 (Watch out guys! More flow of fans this year lol!)

Thanks to all the staff of the New York Tolkien Society Heren Istarion: Burdge Anthony, Anne (aka Lightwards for the NY Line Party), Jessica and Stephanie. You all were great!

Well that is all my sweet hobbits! May you all have wonderful dreams of elves, and far away lands free of nasty orcses.

A Very Happy Birthday to Mr. Frodo and the honorable Mr. Bilbo. Happy 111th year dear Tolkien.

Cheers! your Roving Jedi Hobbit Reporter,
PippinSkywalker 🙂

Posted in Old Special Reports on September 21, 2003 by

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