July 30, 2008

Lucille Ball’s Hometown to Host Festival August 1-3

Jamestown, NY - Final plans are taking shape for Lucille Ball's birthday celebration in Jamestown, New York this coming weekend. A lot of planning goes into presenting more than 40 events during a three-day weekend festival - especially when you’re also opening a brand-new museum!

The walls have been built and painted, the carpet installed, the multiple video screens programmed, Lucy’s Mercedes put in place, and exhibits are currently being readied, so the new Lucy-Desi Museum at 10 West Third Street in downtown Jamestown, New York, will be ready to open for Lucille Ball’s Birthday Celebration this weekend, August 1-3.

Visitors from the more than 20 states and Canada are packing and making their travel plans to enjoy the festival with its more than 40 planned events. And the weekend’s celebrity guests are looking forward to their visit to the Queen of Comedy’s hometown as well.

As Ruta Lee, Hollywood Walk of Fame actress who is the weekend’s headliner, said from her home in southern California, "I look forward to reliving my life with Lucy and sharing the love and laughter with all her friends and fans!" Advertising Advantage & Eagle Systems are sponsoring Saturday night’s 8 pm "I Remember Lucy: An Evening with Ruta Lee" in the Reg Lenna Civic Center in downtown Jamestown. Tickets are still available for the gala reception that follows.

And what would a festival celebrating Lucille Ball be without lots of "Lucy"!

There will be two film fests on the big screen in the Civic Center, the former Palace Theatre where a young Lucy watched vaudeville with her grandfather on Saturday afternoons. Three seldom-seen episodes of The Lucy Show, the Queen of Comedy’s long-running 1960s television series, will be shown at 3:30 on Friday afternoon, August 1. At 4:30 Saturday afternoon three back-to-back episodes of Life With Lucy, her final television series, will be screened, including the last episode that was filmed but never aired.

Weather permitting, "Lucy Under the Stars" will offer free outdoor movies on the corner of Third and Pine Streets at 9:45 on Friday and Saturday nights. Popcorn and soda will be available.

For live comedy entertainment, you can’t beat The Unexpected Guests, Jamestown’s own comedy improv troupe! Jane Fischer, Gary Peters, Jr., and Tim Smeal will lead the group, offering their improvisational sketches at 9:30 pm on Friday, August 1, in the Tropicana Room above the Desilu Playhouse (the "I Love Lucy" museum) at 2 W. 3rd Street in downtown Jamestown. Opening the show will be John Schillner, a popular host at Lucy-Desi festival events. The Unexpected Guests will perform in zany "Lucy" ways, while John offers his own unique style of humor. For additional information on these and the many other events during Lucy's Birthday Celebration, call or visit the Lucy-Desi Museum & Gift Shop, 300 North Main Street, Jamestown, NY 14701, (716)-484-0800 (toll-free: 1-877-LUCY-FAN) or online at www.lucy-desi.com. Hours for the Lucy-Desi Museum, Desilu Playhouse, and Lucy-Desi Center Gift Shop are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1-5 pm on Sundays.

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