Since the 1970s, movie houses around the world have been packed with Unconventional Conventionists shouting every word of a carefully studied fan script for The Rocky Horror Picture Show. For more than a decade, Lebowski Fests have brought together fans of a certain Coen Brothers film about a certain robe wearing, White Russian-quaffing Dude for an appreciation of the movie and one another. And now, in 2013, International Tom Hanks Day joins the pantheon of film-buff bacchanalian events as it celebrates its 10th birthday. If you’re just tuning in now, International Tom Hanks Day exists, the brainchild of Chicago native Kevin Turk, a declaration of love for “one of the nicest men in Hollywood,” as the event’s website declares.
The 10th Annual International Tom Hanks Day will take place on Saturday, April 13th at Headquarters Beercade and Uncle Fatty’s Rum Resort, two neighboring bars in Chicago’s Lakeview area. We’re not really sure why a watering hole full of retro video games and craft beer and a bro’d-out tiki bar were chosen, but they actually seem pretty fitting. Throughout the day, there will be drink specials, games, screenings of Hanks’s Greatest Hits, a chance to win signed merchandise, and proceeds benefit Lifeline Energy, a nonprofit that provides technology and sustainable initiatives to underserved communities in the developing world.
And, of course, the event has the blessing of Mr. Nice Guy himself, who wrote a well-wishing note to Turk and the organizers in 2007:
“You people have all either lost your minds or your jobs. Both? Then again, you may have discovered the divine path to world peace—just a short walk through, say, Turner and Hooch and Cast Away.”
Satellite Tom Hanks Day events will be held that same weekend in Portland, Oregon and Toronto, the latter at Swirl Wine Bar, for those outside the Windy City who wish to celebrate this national cinematic treasure. Past Tom Hanks Day events have spread beyond the original locations of Kalamazoo and Chicago to include Los Angeles, London and Cleveland, among others.
And who knows? Maybe it’ll be in your city next, or maybe Hanksy will have a gallery opening at the next one. Or Hanks himself will reunite The Oneders for a special one-off performance. Remember The Oneders? Of course you do. Anyway, fans of Tom Hanks, check this out, but just please don’t ever let International Chet Haze Day be a thing. Please.