5 Things We Learned at 'Gilmore Girls' Fan Fest

It kicked off Friday.

We caught up with fans, cast and crew for a peek into the "Gilmore" world.

Stars Hollow Is real, and It's Washington Depot, Connecticut
Legend has it the show's creator, Amy Sherman-Palladino, was inspired by the small town of Washington Depot to create Stars Hollow, during a stay at the nearby Mayflower Inn. The town's inhabitants all seem to know each other, and many grew up and went to school together. There's a town selectman and town meetings, but they don't take place in a dance studio like in the series.

Inside Washington Depot's town hall Friday, town clerk Sheila Anson processed absentee ballots while the pilot episode played from a tent outside the window. The town's hardware store, Washington Supply Co., served coffee and set up a diner-style table in the corner window for fans to enjoy, and the Hickory Stick Bookshop across the street could keep even the most insatiable readers, like Rory Gilmore, satisfied for hours a day.

Team Jess Wins in a Landslide
The brooding character played by Milo Ventimiglia is by far the favorite of Rory's boyfriends among fans. However, many were quick to point out they prefer the older, more thoughtful season six edition of Jess to the combative bad boy in season two.

Liz Torres Is Miss Patty
The actress behind Stars Hollow's favorite dance instructor chatted with reporters and friends loudly in the balcony of Friday night's behind-the-scenes panel. She and Aris Alvarado, who played Caesar on "Gilmore Girls," agree: Stars Hollow could have used more ethnic food. If Caesar were left in charge of Luke's diner, he would have added empanadas to the menu, Alvarado said. The Chinese cuisine at Al's Pancake World just wasn’t cutting it.

The 'Gilmore Girls' Fandom Is Widespread and Highly Caffeinated
Visitors came from all over to the small Connecticut town, and spent their time drinking coffee, taking photos, meeting other fans and discussing their favorite episodes. It was a multi-generational festival, with mother-daughter groups alongside teams of twenty-somethings.

One thought expressed at Friday's panel encompassed the lasting effect this show has had on its fans: that daughters who watched the show with their mothers can now watch the coming revival with their own daughters.

The cast and crew are like a family, and actor Edward Herrmann, who portrayed Rory's grandfather Richard and who passed away in 2014, was a father figure to the whole production.

"These people truly loved each other," said the late actor's widow, Star Herrmann, at Friday night's behind-the-scenes panel. "Everyone wanted the show to work because there was something magical and wonderful about it."