House on the Rock and Neil Gaiman team up for an "American Gods" themed weekend
Post by Emily Mills on 4/5/2010 10:00am
Lovers of Weird rejoice! The House on the Rock has announced a full weekend of American Gods related festivities to take place around Halloween this year, including a few rare chances to ride the World’s Largest Carousel.
The novel, written by protean author and UK-to-Wisconsin transplant Neil Gaiman, contains a pivotal section that takes place at the famous Spring Green area tourist stop. Since its publication in 2001, many fans of the book have apparently gone out of their way to visit the House on the Rock, and both the writer and those who run the place have taken notice.
Gaiman has been talking about the potential for an American Gods related event at the House since at least January, when representatives of the kitschy locale contacted him with the pitch. The official announcement of the celebration has only just been made public, and Dane101 is happy to bring you the details, as well as future follow-up (stay tuned).
Most Wisconsin residents are likely to be at least somewhat familiar with the House on the Rock. Originally opened in 1959, it’s a sprawling and oftentimes bewildering complex of rooms, gardens, shops, and streets all filled with variously themed knick-knacks, furniture, dolls, and other sundries.
Designed by Alex Jordan, Jr., the House has become one of the stranger and more spectacular of the “roadside attractions” in the United States. It’s so odd, in fact, that Gaiman’s publishers weren’t exactly sure it was a real place when he included it in the novel.
“I had to tone down my description of it and leave things out in the book in order to make it believable,” Gaiman wrote at his blog.
In American Gods, several of the main characters ride the famously gigantic carousel, which serves as a portal into the mind of Odin, the “All-Father,” who plays a central role in the plot. Typically, however, no one is actually allowed to ride the carousel—but one of the attractions of the book-themed weekend will be the opportunity for a select few to do just that.
The American Gods retreat will also feature a talk from the author, literary panels, presentations, and a costume party. It runs from Friday, October 29 through Saturday, October 30 and there are several different ticketing options available. For more, check out the House on the Rock blog.
(photo by John Kroll on Flickr)
Emily Mills is Editor-At-Large for Dane101, as well as Editor of Our Lives Magazine. She is also a freelance writer, photographer, actor, and musician (drummer and singer in local band Little Red Wolf). Originally from several states up and down the Midwest Emily has called Madison home since 2000. Contact her at