words and photos by bill bodkin…
On Saturday, September 29, throngs of fans of the film The Big Lebowski, crowded the famous concert venue, bar and bowling known as The Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park, New Jersey.
For this writer, a fan of the film, for over a decade, I have been aching to attend one of these festivals but for some reason I’ve always missed my opportunity. So when I found out the Fest was going to be in my backyard, I had to be there.
And after attending my first fest, I can easily confess, that I will be trying to attend more of them as they present themselves along the the New York/New Jersey/Philadelphia area.
The fest is much like The Dude himself, laid back, far out and just overall fun. It’s a festival filled with abiders and achievers who were some of the most friendly and cool people you want to meet. How cool were they? I got a guy, dressed like John Tuturro’s character Jesus, to lick a bowling ball, much like Tuturro did in the film.
The night’s mood was also aided by $5 White Russians, made just like The Dude liked them — delicious and full of booze. Scott Shuffit, one of the founding Dudes of Lebowski Fest, was on hand to oversee the “what have yous” of the evening including a Jesus dance off, a costume contest, trivia and of course, a screening of the film.
If you have a chance to catch a Fest in your area, it’s an absolute must.