The Dude fanatic is a recognizable type in movie-geek circles: skilled in the art of mixing "Caucasians," attired in shorts, sandals and a robe (though, on special occasions, he has been known to dress up as a giant bowling pin), given to shouting the phrase "Shut the f--k up, Donny!" at the slightest provocation.
Such men (they're mostly men) have been gathering at something called Lebowski Fest since 2002, four short years after the film they adore, 'The Big Lebowski,' was released, to lukewarm reviews and blah box-office. The first meeting took place at a small bowling alley in Louisville and attracted just 150 peope. Nine years on, it's blossomed into a nationwide movement, with events taking place annually in cities all over the country. And while there have been plenty of exciting incidents over the years (Jeff Bridges, who plays the Dude in the film, turned up at the Los Angeles Fest in 2005, for example), 2011 was going to top them all.