Seeing stars in Duluth

DULUTH -- Duluth's Festival Center was flooded with "Days of Our Lives" fans who wanted to meet Drake Hogestyn (John Black), Patrick Muldoon (Austin), and Judi Evans (Adrienne) from the cast Monday during the 45th Anniversary National Tour.

"I've been watching the show for years, since I was a little girl with my mom," said Lori Langlois of Stone Mountain, who was with her mother. "I want to see Rafe (Hernandez) but I don't think he's here. I do like the gentleman who plays John Black though."

Women -- and a number of men -- lined up for hours to snap a photo and get an autograph from the stars they have been following for decades.

"This is my first time here (to meet cast) ... I've watched the show for many, many, many years." Michael Calabressi of Norcross said. "A lot of my favorite people are here today and I haven't been able to meet them before."

The early bird fans lined up in the morning to guarantee a glimpse of the actors.

"I've waited since 8:30 a.m. until now (1:20 p.m.)," Constance Coggins of Buford said. "I'm here because when I was 15, I watched the first episode with my mom and I got hooked to it."

Moments before the crowd was sent in to see the cast, Jayne Madigan the event coordinator for the City of Duluth, gave out the rules: Only one photo per person and one signature per star. She wanted to "let everyone have a chance."

"They might sign my hat that I just won at trivia today," Calabressi said.

That isn't all that people had to sign: blank sheets of paper, autobiographies, headshots, T-shirts, and other memorabilia. Some opted to buy one of the many soap opera's books to capture a John Hancock.

Last March, the "Days" tour visited Suwanee with such a large turnout that a number of attendees were turned away. Some of those who were sent home made sure to make it to this event.

"I missed it last time because there were so many people," Jennifer Nugent of Cumming said. "This was the perfect time to come out -- everyone is at work and the kids are in school."