The Hunger Games" Event at Bookmans in Mesa">

Test Your Archery Skills or Get a Capitol Makeover at Next Week's "Survive The Hunger Games" Event at Bookmans in Mesa

Lori Cothrun

expects a major crowd to show up at next week's

Survive The Hunger Games

event at

Bookmans Entertainment Exchange

in Mesa. And with good reason, considering the

rabid popularity

of both the book (more than 17.5 million copies in the U.S.) and the blockbuster movie ($312 million and counting) right now.

"Yeah, I'm a little scared," says Cothrun, an events planner at the store. "There could be an enormous amount of people inside Bookmans for the party."

Needless to say, she'll be prepared if a flock of teenyboppers and Hunger Games fanatics overtake the store on Wednesday evening to participate in the event, which will feature competitions and activities inspired by both the film and book.

Attendees can "represent their district" and make like Katniss Everdeen while using a bow and arrow (albeit a toy version) during an archery competition or maybe even get themselves a Capitol-style makeover at the event.

"It's designed for fans of The Hunger Games, since its all the rage right now," Cothrun says. "We have a new section for teens at the store, so we were looking for a fun events for teens to attend."

While they won't be fighting for their lives, participants will engage in an evening-long competition where they'll visit various "training stations" located throughout the store and learn archery skills or about how various knots can be used to make snares and traps.

Their "guild sheet" will be marked off after mastering each activity and the first to successfully complete all the stations will win a prize package featuring a $50 Bookmans gift card and other goodies. And may the odds be in their favor.

"It's not going to be some hardcore competition," Cothrun adds. "It's more for fandom and to get folks together to celebrate their love of The Hunger Games."

As such, exclusive movie posters will be available at the event, as will some cupcakes and other sweet treats from the "Mellark Bakery" (the fictional pastry shop from the book and movie). .

Speaking of eats, Cothrun says the event will also offer the chance to learn some actual survival skills for living in the Arizona desert, such as foraging for food, choosing edible plants, or how to make potable water.

Those who have memorized both the books and movie can try to score another Bookmans gift card during a Hunger Games trivia contest that will be conducted by the folks behind local geek lit blog I Heart Monster.

Cothrun also encourages participants to come participants to come dressed in Hunger Games-inspired outfits for a costume contest that will be judged by the artists of Dark Goddess Creations (a Valley fashion designer who creates jewelry, fairy wings, and other clothing and gear of a gothic/steampunk bent).

"Dark Goddess Creations is also going to do Capitol-style makeovers for people with very fancy glitter and bright colors in the facial area," Cothrun says.

While the event is primarily aimed at the teenage and the post-adolescent demographics, she adds that anyone 10 and older is encouraged to attend and "will be just as entertained as the teens." That includes any bored housewives or 20somethings, both of which make up a significant portion of Hunger Games fandom.

It's also designed, she adds, to get people who have only seen the film but haven't read the original book to crack open a copy of Suzanne Collins' hit tome. As such, a special limited edition of the novel will be awarded to the winner of one of the competitions.

"The movie just came out, so maybe if [people] haven't read it yet after seeing the film maybe we can pique their interest in the book also," Cothrun says.

"Survive The Hunger Games" takes place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 18, at Bookmans Entertainment Exchange in Mesa. Admission is free.

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