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2nd annual Lebowski Festival to be bigger and better this year

Steamboat locals dressed up as "The Dude" at the inaugural "Steamboat Springs Big Lebowski Festival" at the Chief Theater. Dressed in a wide variety of DIY-type costumes, attendees played Wii bowling, trivia and more.
Courtesy Photo

— Dressed in a purple jumpsuit, Jesus Quintana steps up to the lane in front of him, gives his bowling ball a lick for luck and releases a perfect strike with ease.

It’s a scene many know from the Coen brothers’ 1998 film “The Big Lebowski.” It’s also a scene Cody Badaracca experienced first-hand at a Big Lebowski Festival in Kentucky a few years ago.

“When this guy dressed as the Jesus character licked the ball and rolled a strike, the entire place went crazy, and for that brief moment I felt like I was on the set of the actual film,” Badaracca said. “Everything just synced up perfectly.”



Lebowski Fest began in 2002 in Louisville, Kentucky, featuring a screening of the film, live music and a bowling party attended by fans dressed like characters in the film.

Chief Theater Executive Director Scott Parker had the idea in mind for the festival for a while, and last year was the first festival in Steamboat.



At 7 p.m. Saturday, the 2nd annual Lebowski Festival will commence at the Chief with live music by All About Me, a Wii Bowling Tournament, costume prizes, White Russian specials and a trivia contest.

“It’s awesome to see people coming together to celebrate the film,” Parker said. “It brings out people who love the movie and really appreciate what a great character the Dude is.”

This year, Parker and fellow fan Holly Mackinnon, who is helping organize the event, said it’s going to be bigger and better with more costumes that represent characters or random portions of the film such as the severed toe.

“It’s all about people coming together because of a common interest,” Mackinnon said. “It’s kind of like a ‘Star Wars’ type of thing because so many people love the movie. There is never a time I’ve watched it and haven’t noticed something different.”

When the film came out, it had a rough time gaining notoriety among fans, Badaracca said, but it has made a comeback with festivals like this happening all across the U.S.

“Watching it attract such a following has been kind of neat,” he said. “It’s one of those classics you can watch over and over again and not get bored of it.”

Tickets for the event are $20 and can be purchased online, at Shoe Chalet or at the door with the first White Russian free. Attendees also are encouraged to dress up in costume as characters in the movie or creative interpretations of scenes or props in the film.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@ExploreSteamboat.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1


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