Celebration Of It’s a Wonderful Life Festival

Saturday, Dec 11, 2021 at 8:00 a.m.

Various Venues in Seneca Falls, NY
Seneca Falls, NY 13148

Please call before attending any community events. It is likely that they will be postponed or canceled as a result of the coronavirus. You can find CDC coronavirus information at cdc.gov/coronavirus; AARP has additional resources at aarp.org/coronavirus.

Featured Guests - Cast Members, “It’s a Wonderful Life”

Karolyn Grimes (“Zuzu Bailey”)

Carol Coombs (“Janie Bailey”)

Jimmy Hawkins (“Tommy Bailey”)

Michael Chapin (“Young George’s Friend”)

Donald and Ronald Collins (“Little Pete Bailey”) And George Bailey’s Car

 Other Special Guests Associated with the Film:

Mary Owen (Donna Reed’s daughter; Board of Directors, The Donna Reed Foundation)

Monica Capra Hodges (Frank Capra’s granddaughter)

Carol Moss Loop (Virginia Patton’s daughter )

More Special Guests:

Brian Rohan (Actor, Jimmy Stewart/George Bailey)

Joseph Yakovetic (Artist)

Janie McKirgan (President/Executive Director, The Jimmy Stewart Museum)

Miles Ryan Fisher (Editor-in-Chief, Italian America Magazine)

Michael Willian (Author, The Essential It’s a Wonderful Life: A Scene-By-Scene Guide to the Classic Film)

Paul Abate (Artist)

Sal St. George And Darren St. George (St. George Living History Productions)

Harold Buchholz (Executive Producer and Writer, Mystery Science Theater 3000 - Netflix)

The Jason Middaugh Family (Creators - It’s a Wonderful LEGO Life)

Every Day Throughout the Festival:

Autograph Signing by Cast Members from It’s a Wonderful Life. (Autographs free with purchase, Fee for items you bring yourself.)  The Gould Hotel.  To ensure a safe environment for the actors, attendees must show proof of completed vaccination.

Paintings by Paul Abate: “I want to live again! Reflections and lessons from George Bailey.” The First Presbyterian Church of Seneca Falls, 23 Cayuga St.

New Exhibit on the career of Jeanine Roose (“Young Violet Bick”). It’s a Wonderful Life Museum.

New Exhibit on Virginia Patton (“Ruth Dakin Bailey”). It’s a Wonderful Life Museum.

Information on Suicide Prevention. The Seneca County Suicide Prevention Coalition.  The First Presbyterian Church of Seneca Falls and the It’s a Wonderful Life Museum. 

 “It’s a Wonderful Quilt” - Raffle for the 75th Anniversary Quilt. It’s a Wonderful Life Museum.

“Just Like in the Film” - Exhibit of items just like those used in It’s a Wonderful Life donated by fans and experts on the film. It’s a Wonderful Life Museum.

Michael Willian - Book Signing. (Hours to be announced.)

“It’s a Wonderful LEGO Life”: The Campaign to Request LEGO to create an It’s a Wonderful Life LEGO set in commemoration of the 75th anniversary. The Jason Middaugh Family. The Seneca Falls Visitor Center.

12th Annual Bedford Falls Gingerbread House Contest. Vote for your favorite. The Seneca Falls Visitor Center.

The Ultimate “It’s a Wonderful Life” Christmas Tree (from California). The Shop Around the Corner, 60 Fall Street.


Autograph Signing: 11:00 am - 1:00 pm and 2:00 - 4:00 pm.The Gould Hotel.

(Autographs free with purchase; $30 fee per autograph for items you bring yourself)  To ensure a safe environment for the actors, attendees must show proof of completed vaccination.

8:00 am: It’s a Wonderful Breakfast. Trinity Church.  

9:00 am: Groundbreaking of Phase I of the Expansion of The Seneca Falls It’s a Wonderful Life Museum and Unveiling of the 75th Anniversary Bell. It’s a Wonderful Life Museum.

9:00 am - 2:00 pm: Bedford Falls Station Holiday Postmark. Seneca Falls Post Office.

9:00 am - 5:00 pm: The Seneca Falls It’s a Wonderful Life Museum: “The Timeless Message of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life - A Journey Through Seneca Falls.”

9:00 am - 7:00 pm: Visit George Bailey’s Car at James Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram.

9:30 am - 1:00 pm or until gone: Roasted chestnuts by the Knights of Columbus. Free. Corner of State and Fall Streets by The Gould Hotel.

10:00 am: 18th Annual George Bailey Award Presented by Karolyn Grimes. Trinity Church.

10:00 am - 2:00 pm: “The Timeless Message of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ - A Journey Through Seneca Falls.”  Visit the Church where Alice Paul first introduced the Equal Rights Amendment in 1923 and ring the church bell. The Church has a long-standing history of signing the bell wall after you have rung the bell - add your name to the giant guest book. First Presbyterian Church.

10:00 am - 2:00 pm and 4:00 - 5:30 pm: “I want to live again! Reflections and lessons from George Bailey.” Paintings by Paul Abate. First Presbyterian Church.

10:00 am - 4:00 pm: Women’s Rights National Historical Park: “The Timeless Message of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ - A Journey Through Seneca Falls.” Visit the site where the first Women’s Rights Convention was held in 1848.  

10:00 am - 6:00 pm: National Women’s Hall of Fame: “The Timeless Message of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ - A Journey Through Seneca Falls.” Come stand among great women and learn about the Donna Reed Center and Heritage Museum. Discounted admission - $6. Free admission if you come in costume.

10:45 am: “Frank Capra in His Own Words.” Presentation by Monica Capra Hodges (Frank Capra’s granddaughter). Trinity Church.

11:45 am: “Liberty Films: the Essential Partners and How Their Voices Affected America and the World Through Cinema.” Presentation by John Kuri, filmmaker, son of Emile Kuri (Set Decorator for It’s a Wonderful Life). Trinity Church.

1:00 pm: It’s a Wonderful Parade. Fall Street.

1:30 pm: “The Real Bedford Falls: It’s a Wonderful Life.” Emmy-winning documentary co-produced and co-directed by Francis DiClemente and Stu Lisson on the history of the connections between Seneca Falls and Bedford Falls. Trinity Church.

2:15 pm: Mary Owen (Donna Reed’s daughter): Introduction to The Donna Reed Show and Thoughts on It’s a Wonderful Life. A classic episode of The Donna Reed Show that challenges gender stereotypes will be shown. Trinity Church.

3:15 pm: “Two Hours in the Dark.” Introduction by Chip Hackler (Writer, Director) and Joseph D’Alessandro (Cinematographer). Blindsided by the success of his comedy, It Happened One Night, which swept the 1935 Oscars, director Frank Capra became crippled with fear. Convinced his next film would fail, he deteriorated to the brink of death-until the day a mysterious stranger appeared, changing Capra’s life, and films, forever. Awards include: Best California Short (California Film Awards) and Jury Award - Best Short (Charleston International Film Festival).

4:00 - 5:30 pm: “The Timeless Message of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life'” - Activities sponsored by the Seneca County Suicide Prevention Coalition and RiSE (Resilience and Inclusion for Students Everywhere” youth group. First Presbyterian Church.

4:40 pm: It’s a Wonderful Run 5K.To register, go to: https://itsawonderfulrun5k.com/register/ 

7:30 pm: Special Screening of It’s a Wonderful Life.  For the first time in Seneca Falls, the film will be introduced by Karolyn Grimes (Zuzu Bailey) and Jimmy Hawkins (Tommy Bailey). Trinity Church.  

This event listing provided for the Seneca Falls community events calendar. Community events are not associated with or sponsored by AARP, but may be of interest to you. We want to hear from you if you have an event to share or updates to this event.

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