Our hearts are still pounding from the excitement of Founder’s Day last Friday. We, the fans of The Vampire Diaries, sent our series to its eternal rest with the party of the decade! Forever Mystic Falls knew we had to throw the biggest party yet, to commemorate the nine years that The Vampire Diaries has filmed here, and you fans made sure that it was a tremendous success. To say thank you for such an incredible event, we’re sharing a behind-the-scenes look into Founder’s Day!
Our day started early, as fans began pouring into Covington, Georgia. Some eager fans arrived as early as 7:00am! They “staked’ out the best spots for the finale. Some even pitched tents in the Square, to mark their territory. Fans who arrived early got a special treat as John Hickman, who played Mr. Fell in season 8, was out and about. There were also plenty of incredible photo opportunities on the Square. Damon’s actual 1969 Chevy Camaro Convertible was parked right outside the Newton County Courthouse, as well as the original Founder’s Day float from the show. Visitors could also participate in a Kissing Booth with Ian’s older brother Bob Somerhalder. Proceeds from the booth were donated to the Ian Somerhalder Foundation.
As the afternoon sun set over Mystic Falls, True Fanpires began lining up to meet our special guest stars from The Originals and The Vampire Diaries; Micah Parker, Chase Coleman, and Chris Brochu! Some intrepid fans had a vampy makeover from a local makeup artist. All of the fans were most excited to meet the stars. Fans took selfies and got autographs from the guest cast members and the band members of Mercy Mode. One dedicated fan even brought a vintage guitar for the stars to sign. She told us that this guitar was incredibly special to her because Ian Somerhalder had signed it. Now, she had three more signatures from the cast of her favorite show! Then, at 7:15 pm, the Miss Mystic Falls pageant began! Women of all ages participated by wearing their most frightfully fashionable frocks, as our guest stars Chris, Micah, and Chase crowned the winners.
After the Miss Mystic Falls Pageant winners were announced, the guys gave away some great gifts and prizes to lucky fans. Visitors to the Welcome Center had participated in our punch card raffle, where fans would receive stamps for every store they shopped at. Once they reached 5 stamps, they were entered into the contest. We had almost 300 people participate and many fans walked away with some pretty sweet swag! At 8:00 pm, Chris Brochu took to the stage for a live acoustic performance of his hit, self-titled album, accompanied by Micah Parker. It was an incredible performance. Dedicated fans were even allowed to join Chris and Micah onstage for the final song!
The real event of the evening had to be The Vampire Diaries series finale. At 8:45 pm, visitors, and fanpires watched a special look into the magic of Mystic Falls with A Vampire Farewell: The Covington Connection CW Special. There was even a special message from Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley for the eagerly gathered fans.
After the finale episode aired, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. We shed a few tears ourselves, not only because we got to see some old friends again (mind the spoilers), but because the best show in Mystic Falls has come to an end. We will never forget the magical memories in Mystic Falls and want to extend our best wishes to the departing cast and crew of The Vampire Diaries. It’s been a wild ride being Mystic Falls, but Covington will always remain so.
If you didn’t get a chance to join us for Founder’s Day, you can always visit our town. We will still be hosting incredible tours of your favorite filming locations and hosting special vampire-themed events. Again, no spoilers, so you’ll have to stay tuned to our blogs for more information. Thank you again to everyone who attended Founder’s Day. A special thank you goes out to Chris Brochu, Micah Parker, Chase Coleman, and Mercy Mode. You guys absolutely made our Founder's Day and we were so honored to meet you all.