A Long Expected Party 2004

Asphodel the PR Hobbit writes: A small farm southeast of Columbus Ohio was recently transformed into the Party Field to celebrate Bilbo Baggins’ birthday. The Ohio Ring Council fan club’s version of the Long Expected Party, held Sept. 18th, drew over 75 revelers from throughout the Shire and as far away as Ontario, and West Virginia. Hobbits, Elves, Men, Wizards, and even an Orc spent the day eating, dancing to live Celtic music by FinTan, eating, re-enacting scenes from the Lord of the Rings books, eating, flying kites, eating, taking pictures, getting rides on “Bill” the pony, eating, giving dramatic readings, eating, and watching fireworks.

Planning began in April, and all told, over 30 volunteers participated in one way or another—making decorations at a “BannerMoot,” “PennantMoot” and “LanternMoot,” and building a stage for the band. Gandalf’s cart—full of prop fireworks—was parked in the center of the field. Members brought Hobbit-inspired food to share, and, true to form, most Hobbits never stopped eating.

“Lass,” a young Hobbit who built the Bilbo costume worn by her father, said “It’s funny, because ORC is intended as a ‘local’ fanclub…yet a good many of our members travel great distances to participate. A fantastic fellowship? I’d say so.”

“Lady Of Lorien” agreed. “I feel like the ORCs are part of my family. So many really kind, down to earth people in one club. It’s just beautiful that this group exists where all different kinds of people can share their love of LOTR…I’m proud to be a part of it.”

A highlight of the event turned out to be dramatic readings from Tolkien’s works, including Sam’s thoughts about Frodo from LOTR, “The Lay of Luthien” from The Silmarillion, and Èowyn and Faramir’s scene atop the walls of Minas Tirith.

Most attendees arrived in Hobbit costume. Notable celebrity appearances included Bilbo, Gandalf the Gray, Eowyn, and Faramir. The party was later crashed by Sauruman, Grima Wormtongue and an Orc.

The Long Expected Party was ORC’s largest and most ambitious event to date, and the party’s success has already inspired members to start planning for LEP 2005, which will be open to the public.

As “Arwen’s Hubby” said, “I have become so much more of an enthusiast of Tolkien’s rich tapestries, in no small part due to the joyful madness you can find at any ORC event. My Lords and Ladies…I raise my mug of ale to ye!!!”

Ohio Ring Council