For the past 28 years, fans from across the globe have been celebrating Lucille Ball’s birthday at the annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in Jamestown.
- This is the festival's 28th year
- Fans will visit from across the nation
- Event wraps up Sunday
The four-day event kicked off Wednesday as visitors made their way through the Desilu Playhouse and nearby Lucy-Desi Museum.
"Reminded me of when I was a little kid. Her humor is just clean and simple and some thing we can still relate to now, all these years later," said Darlene Vaughan, of Canada.
"It's been an education as well as entertainment. Getting to see something that you've grown up with, I Love Lucy. It's still funny, it's not dirty. There's nothing that you'd be ashamed to let your children watch it," said Jim Phillips, of Florida.
"Been a Lucy fan since I was very young. No matter how old it gets, we're always laughing. And I think if we continue to keep it going, another generation will keep loving her, the same way we did," said Jim Bannon, of Florida.
The festival features a mix of new events and old favorites including grape stomping and candy wrapping.
"You see the best of contemporary programming with the hottest headliners like Sebastian Maniscalco and John Mulaney, but also relish in nostalgic legacy programming," said Journey Gunderson, National Comedy Center executive director.
Not only are fans celebrating the comedic legacy of America's favorite redhead, but the festival itself is celebrating a special milestone as well, the one-year anniversary of opening the National Comedy Center in Jamestown.
"The first year open has far exceeded my expectations. We needed to make sure this institution was worthy of the artists and bodies of work it celebrates," said Gunderson.
Festival goers can expect several new exhibits like the Smothers Brothers, Carol Burnett and Ernie Kovacs.
Given its many national accolades and top-rated performers, center leaders say the entire festival experience embodies Ball's vision for her hometown.
"It was she who said, don't just celebrate me. Don't just have my stuff in glass cases. Jamestown should become a destination for celebrating all comedy in a way that would inspire future generations," said Gunderson.
The festival wraps up on Sunday.