“The Big Lebowski” is a movie you either like or don’t like. If you’re in the former group… far out. I dig yer style, Dude. If you’re in the latter group… well, that’s just, like… your opinion, man. 

1998’s The Big Lebowski is a movie with a strong cult following that has spawned a plethora of fan festivals. These fests are usually held in bowling alleys with people dressed as their favorite characters, side characters, or even just abstract concepts based on pieces of dialogue. A lot of White Russians are consumed. Lebowski Fests, Achiever Fests, Dude-a-Thons, whatever your preferred nomenclature-- have been hosted all throughout the world in most major cities. So why not Central New York? 

Before I continue, let me run through my Big Lebowski resume, so you know you’re not dealing with morons here: I’m proud to say that I saw The Big Lebowski during its original theatrical run in 1998 at the Riverside Mall. There weren’t a whole lot of us. I remember being confused by the plot, but finding the dialogue so refreshingly funny that I made a mental note to watch this movie again. It marinated in my brain for 8 months until I was able to rent it and give it another shot. 

It took hold after that second viewing and it hasn’t let go. As I’m sure all my ex-girlfriends would attest to, it’s been a huge part of my identity. I have a Big Lebowski tattoo. I have the Time Magazine “Man of the Year” mirror. I have the Dude’s Pendleton sweater. I’ve been to no fewer than eight Lebowski Fests. Not exactly a lightweight. 

That’s why I can say with some authority that the Mohawk Valley needs a Big Lebowski Fest. There are a ton of sleepy bowling alleys where this could take place and inject some life. Am I wrong? *Am* I wrong? Okay, then. I'm finishin' my coffee.

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The Mohawk Valley has a smattering of great bowling alleys that would be perfect to host a Big Lebowski fan festival.

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The Old Staastburg Firehouse (now Roosevelt Engine Co 5.) houses an abandoned bowling ally. Local Hudson Valley firefighters tell us that they believe the bowling ally was created back in the 50s and was used until the early 90s.

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