Two years ago, I visited Unionville, Ontario (i.e. real-life Stars Hollow, CT), where the Gilmore Girls Pilot was filmed. I’m obsessed with the show and was thrilled to visit the place where the very first episode was filmed. On a freezing cold day, I walked down Main Street Unionville. It was lit up with twinkling lights and looked every bit like the fictional town of Stars Hollow (i.e. the Warner Brothers backlot). I shared the experience in a post that ended up being one of my highest-traffic piece of all time. To this day, Gilmore Girls fans write to me about their obsession with the show and visiting Unionville.
One of those fans is an organizer of the Gilmore Girls Fan Festival, an annual event that so far has taken place in various cities throughout Connecticut. The show was, after all, inspired by Amy Sherman-Palladino’s visit to Washington Depot. However, I would argue that Unionville is a better doppelganger for Stars Hollow. The town even has two gazebos and park called TooGood Park (I’m not making this up, kids)…with a pond called TooGood Pond , that you can just picture Luke pushing Jess into. The point is, the organizers reached out to let me know this year’s Gilmore Girls Fan Festival is finally taking place in Unionville, Ontario!
Gilmore Girls Fan Fest dates and ticket sales
The event will take place in Unionville on October 4 – 6, 2019. Tickets will go on sale on February 11 at noon. I wasn’t able to attend past festivals because they’ve been held the same weekend as the Chicago Seminars. Since the Gilmore Girls Fan Fest is set for the first week of October and the Chicago Seminars usually get scheduled during the second week, I may be able to attend both events this year.
Gilmore Girls Fan Fest Activities
Activities haven’t been announced yet, but chances are they’ll mirror what’s taken place in past: Cake-tasting, knit-a-thon, hiking, lunch at a Luke-style diner, and cast meet-and-greets. Personally, I think it would be awesome if they set up a Luke’s pop-up-shop in front of 156 Main Street, where the opening scene was filmed. Maybe something similar to what Kirk had going on in Season 7. Just to give the event more authenticity. Since The Handmaid’s Tale shoots in Ontario, maybe they can even get Alexis Bledel to make an appearance. Fingers crossed!
Where to Stay in Unionville, Ontario
If you want the full “Stars Hollow” experience, I recommend getting an Airbnb in the area. For example, a room in this cute little house right off Main Street and goes for just $30 per night. If you need a bit more space, there’s this 2-bedroom apartment near TooGood Park for $68 per night.
Options around Main Street Unionville are limited. If you don’t mind being a few blocks away, there are several nice places to stay. Just do a search on Airbnb, go into Map View and you’ll get a good sense of what’s available. If you’re new to Airbnb, sign up with my Airbnb referral link and you’ll get $40 off a $75 booking.
Are you a Gilmore fan? Are you planning to attend the Gilmore Girls Fan Festival in Unionville this year?