HOLIDAY EVENT HIGHLIGHT: “It’s a Wonderful Life” Festival – Seneca Falls, NY

Calling all Frank Capra, Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed and It’s A Wonderful Life fans, we have the holiday event of the season for you!

Most anyone breathing knows the classic, beloved Christmas movie It’s A Wonderful Life. If you’re part of the 2% who has never seen it DO IT. NOW. Trust us. You’re Welcome. For all of the fans out there of this extraordinary movie if you haven’t heard of the Seneca Falls It’s A Wonderful Life Festival you are in for a huge treat!

Seneca Falls is believed to have been the inspiration for the town of Bedford Falls in the classic film It’s A Wonderful Life and December 2018 will be PACKED with more magic than your vintage-lovin’ heart can handle! One of the most special aspects of this event, though, is its guests. Unlike today’s fans of modern Hollywood fans of Old Hollywood rarely get opportunities to meet people associated with the classic films we love so much. This is where this event is different. Some special guests we’re excited about for this year’s festival include FOUR of the original cast members of It’s A Wonderful Life (Karolyn Grimes/Zuzu Bailey, Carol Coombs/Janie Bailey, Jimmy Hawkins/Tommy Bailey and Jeanine Roose/young Violet Bick) as well as a few other special guests highlighting the legacies of Donna Reed (Mary and Tony Owen, Donna Reed’s daughter and son) and Frank Capra (Monica Capra Hodges, Frank Capra’s grand-daughter).

Activities will be taking place December 6th through the 9th all over Seneca Falls, New York and here are just a FEW of our favorites:

  • Merry Christmas, George Bailey! is a live radio show by the Seneca Community Players.
  • Every Time a Bell Rings… will give you an opportunity to purchase a bell to put on the bridge with the name of someone you would like to honor.
  • The Creative Genius of Set Director Emile Kuri: From Bedford Falls to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea to Disneyland exhibit will be showing at the It’s a Wonderful Life Museum.
  • The Donna Reed Show classic episodes that challenge gender and racial stereotypes will be shown at different times throughout the day at the Guntzel Theater, Women’s Rights NHP. 
  • Bread, Salt & Wine Housewarming is an event with actors from It’s A Wonderful Life in association with Habitat for Humanity.
  • The 60th Anniversary of The Donna Reed Show Welcome Reception will feature Mary and Tony Owen and actors from It’s A Wonderful Life.
  • On the Air with Jimmy Stewart will feature Brian Rohan as Jimmy Stewart where he will perform excerpts from Jimmy Stewart’s radio interviews.
  • Actors from It’s A Wonderful Life will be signing autographs.
  • Screening of It’s A Wonderful Life will take place at the Academy Square Auditorium.
  • Presentation by Jeanine Roose (Young Violet Bick): “The faith of a child – simple.” 
  • Presentation by Jimmy Hawkins (Tommy Bailey): “The Difference Between Being a Child Actor and a Child Star.” Jimmy Hawkins talks about his 75-year career in film and television, including his role as “Tagg Oakley” in the Annie Oakley television series. Also, The National Women’s Hall of Fame Pays Tribute to Gail Davis – Annie Oakley – the first woman to have a lead role in a television western and the first woman to star in her own series.
  • Mrs. Martini’s Pasta Dinner and Movie Trivia will be a wonderful meal, great ambiance and trivia fun!
  • It’s a Wonderful Bonfire, Tree Lighting, Caroling and Santa will take place at People’s Park. Music by Calvary Chapel Worship Band.
  • Frank Capra’s Preview Dinner will be followed by a free screening of It’s A Wonderful Life at the Delavan Theater.
  • It’s A Wonderful Life Participation Movie will be at the Academy Square Auditorium and includes a bag of props to the first 50.
  • 15th Annual George Bailey Award presented by Karolyn Grimes is on behalf of the IDEA Center for the Voices of Humanity. Music by Seneca Singers.
  • Remembering Frank Capra, in Pictures and Interviews: Presentation by Monica Capra Hodges. 
  • Photo Opportunity with the four actors from It’s A Wonderful Life.

Clearly this event will be so immersive you won’t know where to look. To even scratch the surface of the calendar of events for this festival is quite the feat as we haven’t even mentioned all of the shopping opportunities, horse-drawn wagon rides, quilt raffles, swing dance lessons…the list goes on and on! This truly is a special event and a rare opportunity Old Hollywood fans should take advantage of when it’s presented to us. It’s always a thrill for lovers of classic movies to be able to attend appearances with these types of guests which is why this event is a “MUST VISIT” on Vintage HQ‘s list for this holiday season!

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