Braving cold and intermittent rain, hundreds of "Twihards" pitched tents outside Nokia Theatre L.A. Live for a four-day campout to ensure their seats at Monday's premiere of the "Twilight" film series' epic conclusion.
More than 1,200 fans camped out last year for the first installment of the finale, according to the production company Summit Entertainment. Organizers expect twice the crowd for "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" as fans bid farewell to their favorite vampires and werewolves. | PHOTOS
"Twilight" stars Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Kristen Stewart and others are expected to grace the "black carpet" during the event Monday.
Until then, however, Chick Hearn Court is blocked off to serve as the stage for the "Twilight" fan camp, set to accommodate up to 2,500 Twihards.
The idea for the fan camp started when crowds began forming on their own for the first "Twilight" premiere, said Eric Kops, senior vice president for publicity for Summit.
"Then we started to think about how can we protect them from the elements and make sure they're being honored for their dedication," Kops said. "It's amazing. They never complain - even in the rain."
Summit plans to host several events for campers each day including a morning workout on Saturday hosted by Jamba Juice, as well as live concerts and outdoor screenings of the "Twilight" films.
Christian Aguirre, 21, of Granada Hills, was putting together his tent with two friends Thursday afternoon under gray skies, excited for his third fan camp experience.
"We've done this for so many years and with this being the last one, why not? Let's go all out," Aguirre said.
And "all out" was an understatement for many fans who hailed from New York, Maryland and as far as Canada and Brazil. They came prepared with battery-powered radios and televisions, decked in Team Edward shirts and snuggled in "Twilight" throw blankets.
Cindy Childers, 47, flew in from Orlando to attend the event with six friends who all helped with decorating duty, from cutting out magazine photos of the stars to hanging posters on tents.
"My grandkids think it's so funny that I do this," Childers said, laughing, as she ripped tape for her posters.
But the grandmother of eight said she has no shame, even though she initially fought the craze.
"My best friend read the books all summer and I said, `No way. You're crazy. It's for kids.' But she said if I read it and didn't like it she'd pay me back the money I spent for the book," Childers said. "Now I'm hooked."
The "Twilight" saga began in 2008 when the first film introduced fans to Stephanie Meyer's popular novels centered around Bella Swan and the supernatural world of vampires and werewolves.
The series then follows the teenager as she falls in love with vampire Edward Cullen and later werewolf Jacob Black in "New Moon" and "Eclipse."
Bella Swan eventually marries Edward Cullen in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1" and fans are now in for the conclusion of the love story when the movie hits theaters Nov. 16.
Joanne Lassiter, 38, of Rancho Palos Verde called the end of the series bittersweet as she made the final touches on her campsite Thursday.
Lassiter came with new Twihard friends she met on Facebook as well as old friends she made at the "Twilight" fan camp in 2010. Her group got to L.A. Live at 3 a.m. Thursday and slept in their SUV until they were allowed to set up at 8 a.m., Lassiter said.
"It's the first time since I was in junior high or high school where I wanted to put posters on my wall again," Lassiter said about her love of "Twilight." "The added bonus is that you come to these premieres and you meet all these passionate fans and we can all talk about the same thing ... without feeling silly."
By the afternoon, the group's camp was decked out in "Twilight" memorabilia with Lassiter's tent covered with buttons and lined with tulips as an homage to the book cover for "New Moon." A cutout of Pattinson as Edward was also being erected and taped to the tent.
"It's our "Star Wars," our "Harry Potter," our "Lord of the Rings." When you're talking about our obsession with it, it's really the same as those fanatics," Lassiter said. "We just love the fantasy."