“A CHRISTMAS STORY” 25th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION & CONVENTION

2008 marks the 25th anniversary of the beloved holiday film “A Christmas Story.A Christmas Story House & Museum is hosting its fourth annual event to mark the occasion: “A Christmas Story” 25th Anniversary Celebration & Convention. The convention will feature appearances by eight original cast members (Black Bart, Randy, Flick, Scut Farkus, Grover Dill, Miss Shields and the two evil elves), the premiere of two documentaries about the movie, rides in the original fire truck from the movie, the unveiling of original movie costumes, a BB gun range in the back yard of the house (weather permitting) as well as other events. The celebration will take place Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 28-29) at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel, coinciding with Cleveland’s Winterfest 2008.                                                         

The Renaissance Cleveland Hotel is the site for almost all of the celebration and convention events. Other activities will take place at A Christmas Story House & Museum, which is a short five-minute drive from the downtown hotel. For “A Christmas Story” fans coming from outside the Cleveland area, the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel is offering all-inclusive accommodations packages. Hotel guests will receive two complimentary Ralphie Passes and early access to an exclusive meet-and-greet with the actors Saturday morning.

CONVENTION SCHEDULE

FRIDAY, NOV. 28, 2008

10 AM – 5 PM: A Christmas Story House & Museum opens. Tour the house, visit the museum and stop by the gift shop. Also, ride the fire truck from the movie and take your best shot (without shooting your eye out) at the BB gun range in the house’s back yard (weather permitting). 
Location: A Christmas Story House. 
Cost: Included with Ralphie Pass ($40 Adults, $25 Children & $35 Seniors); Separately $7.50 Adults, $5.50 Children. 

10 AM – 5 PM: Fire truck rides at A Christmas Story House. Ride the original fire truck used in the movie from Flick’s famous tongue-on-the-flagpole scene. Rides begin at A Christmas Story House and travel around the neighborhood. Proceeds benefit the Chippawa Volunteer Fire Department (Niagara Falls, Ontario), which owns and maintains the fire truck. 
Location: A Christmas Story House. 
Cost: Included with Ralphie Pass; Separately $5 Adults, $3 Children.

12 PM – 5 PM: Meet actors from “A Christmas Story” and get their autographs. Meet Black Bart, Randy, Flick, Scut Farkus, Grover Dill, Miss Shields and the two Evil Elves.
Location: Ambassador Ballroom at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. 
Cost: Included with Ralphie Pass; Separately $10 Adults, $5 Children. Autograph fees apply. 

2 PM: Original Genie Awards unveiling at A Christmas Story Museum. Witness the unveiling of the two Genie Awards won by “A Christmas Story” on public display for the first time ever. The Genie Award is the Canadian equivalent of the Oscars. The exhibit is on loan from the estate of “A Christmas Story” director Bob Clark for the 25th anniversary holiday season only.
Location: Canada Room of A Christmas Story Museum.
Cost: Free with House and Museum admission.

4 PM – 6 PM: Screening of “A Christmas Story.” Enjoy the movie on the big screen.
Location: Gold Ballroom at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel
Cost: Free.

7 PM – 9 PM: Premiere of “Shooting Your Eye Out: The Untold ‘Christmas Story.’” Join the actors from “A Christmas Story” for the premiere of this documentary. Directed by Bill Szarka,  “The Untold Christmas ‘Story’” is a documentary about the making of “A Christmas Story” and the phenomenon it has become. The documentary includes commentary and insights from the actors about their memories from the making of the movie. DVD copies of the films will be for sale on-site at the convention and at A Christmas Story House Gift Shop. 
Location: Gold Ballroom at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. 

Cost: Included with Ralphie Pass; Separately $7 Adults, $5 Children.

9 PM: Cocktail reception with actors from “A Christmas Story” immediately following the premiere of “The Untold “Christmas Story.’”  
Location: Gold Ballroom at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. 
Cost: $10 per person, which includes one free drink per ticket. Tickets can be purchased at the door. Two tickets are included with the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel package.

SATURDAY, NOV. 29, 2008

9 PM – 7 PM: A Christmas Story House & Museum opens with extended hours. Tour the house, visit the museum and stop by the gift shop. Also, ride the fire truck from the movie and take your best shot (without shooting your eye out) at the BB gun range in the house’s back yard (weather permitting). 
Location: A Christmas Story House. 
Cost: Included with Ralphie Pass; Separately $7.50 Adults, $5.50 Children.

10 AM: Original movie costume exhibits unveiled at A Christmas Story Museum. Exhibits include costumes from the Parker family Christmas Morning and the Black Bart Bandits scenes. These costumes have never been seen by the public and are part of a recently discovered collection thought to have been lost to the ages. These exhibits will be on display through Sept. 30, 2009, when they will rotate out to make room for other costume displays.
Location: A Christmas Story Museum.
Cost: Free with House and Museum admission.

10 AM – 5 PM: Lolly the Trolley’s “Ralphie Express” will provide round-trip transportation between the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel and A Christmas Story House. The trolley departs every half-hour. Due to limited street parking at A Christmas Story House, attendees are encouraged to park downtown near the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel and take the trolley to the house. 
Location: Renaissance Cleveland Hotel main entrance. 
Cost: Included with Ralphie Pass; Separately $7 Adults, $4 Children for round-trip transportation.

10 AM – 5 PM: Fire truck rides at A Christmas Story House. Ride the original fire truck used in the movie from Flick’s famous tongue-on-the-flagpole scene. Rides begin at A Christmas Story House and travel around the neighborhood. Proceeds benefit the Chippawa Volunteer Fire Department (Niagara Falls, Ontario), which owns and maintains the fire truck. 
Location: A Christmas Story House. 
Cost: Included with Ralphie Pass; Separately $5 Adults, $3 Children.

10 AM – 12 PM: Exclusive actor meet-and-greet for Renaissance Cleveland Hotel guests only. Meet actors from the movie and get their autographs. Meet Black Bart, Randy, Flick, Scut Farkus, Grover Dill, Miss Shields and the two Evil Elves. (The meet-and-greet opens to the general public at 12 PM.) 
Location: Ambassador Ballroom at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. 
Cost: Included in Renaissance Cleveland Hotel package and open to hotel guests only. Autograph fees apply.

10 AM – 11:30 AM: Speakers Series – Session #1. Find out what REALLY happened behind the scenes of “A Christmas Story.” Hear from guest speakers who share their special stories about the making of the movie. To join the sessions, you must have a Ralphie Pass that gets you into all of the weekend’s events. Ralphie Passes can be purchased online.

·         “A Christmas Story” Class Reunion – a panel discussion with several of Ralphie’s grown-up classmates. Find out what happened when Hollywood came calling at an ordinary elementary school and the students were cast as extras and paid $1 a day for their work. Hear how “A Christmas Story” changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

·         “A Christmas Story” Production Panel – a panel session featuring Jim Moralevitz, who delivered the leg lamp crate to The Old Man, looked after Peter Billingsley (Ralphie) on set and still lives a few doors down from A Christmas Story House; Julie Matthews, who cast all the supporting roles; Carl Zitter and Paul Zaza, who composed the score and music; and Dwayne McLean (Black Bart), who coordinated all the stunts.

·         The speakers series is organized and moderated by Tyler Schwartz and Jordie Smits, the experts (and mega fans) on all the Canadian location shoots for “A Christmas Story.”
Location: Grand Ballroom at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel.
Cost: Ralphie Pass holders only; no separate admissions will be sold. 

10 AM – 11:30 AM: Second Screening of “Shooting Your Eye Out: The Untold ‘Christmas Story.’” Directed by Bill Szarka,  “The Untold ‘Christmas Story’” is a documentary about the making of “A Christmas Story” and the phenomenon it has become. The documentary includes commentary and insights from the actors about their memories from the making of the movie.
Location: Gold Ballroom at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. 
Cost: Included with Ralphie Pass; Separately $7 Adults, $5 Children.

11:30 PM – 12:30 PM: “A Christmas Story – The Musical” preview. “A Christmas Story” is being made into a Broadway musical. Be the first to find out the production details, cast introductions and hear a reading from the script by producer Gerald Goehring and several members of the creative team.
Location: Grand Ballroom at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel.
Cost: Ralphie Pass holders only; no separate admissions will be sold.

12 PM – 5 PM: Meet actors from “A Christmas Story” and get their autographs. Meet Black Bart, Randy, Flick, Scut Farkus, Grover Dill, Miss Shields and the two Evil Elves.
Location: Ambassador Ballroom at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. 
Cost: Included with Ralphie Pass; Separately $10 Adults, $5 Children. Autograph fees apply.

1 PM – 2:30 PM: Speakers Series – Session #2. Find out what REALLY happened behind the scenes of “A Christmas Story.” Hear from guest speakers who share their special stories about the making of the movie. To join the sessions, you must have a Ralphie Pass that gets you into all of the weekend’s events. Ralphie Passes can be purchased online.

·         “A Christmas Story” Class Reunion – a panel discussion with several of Ralphie’s grown-up classmates. Find out what happened when Hollywood came calling at an ordinary elementary school and the students were cast as extras and paid $1 a day for their work. Hear how “A Christmas Story” changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

·         “A Christmas Story” Production Panel – a panel session featuring Jim Moralevitz, who delivered the leg lamp crate to The Old Man, looked after Peter Billingsley (Ralphie) on set and still lives a few doors down from A Christmas Story House; Julie Matthews, who cast all the supporting roles; Carl Zitter and Paul Zaza, who composed the score and music; and Dwayne McLean (Black Bart), who coordinated all the stunts.

·         The speakers series is organized and moderated by Tyler Schwartz and Jordie Smits, the experts (and mega fans) on all the Canadian location shoots for “A Christmas Story.”
Location: Grand Ballroom at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel.
Cost: Ralphie Pass holders only; no separate admissions will be sold. 

2:30 PM – 4 PM: Premiere of “Road Trip for Ralphie” A Documentary produced by two mega-fans of A Christmas Story that set out to find all of the film’s shooting locations.  During an adventure spanning two years and two countries, they uncover forgotten facts, discover little-known shooting locations and recover long-lost memorabilia including the costumes unveiled convention weekend.
Location: Grand Ballroom at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel.
Cost: Included with Ralphie Pass; Separately $7 Adults, $5 Children.

4 PM: Character look-alike contest. Dress up as your favorite “A Christmas Story” character. The contest is moderated by Canadian mega fans Tyler Schwartz and Jordie Smits. The winner of the contest will get to be a part of the Winterfest Parade and ride with the actors in the fire truck from the movie. Other prizes will also be given out. 
Location: Grand Ballroom at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. 
Cost: Free.

4:30 AM – 6PM: Final Screening of “Shooting Your Eye Out: The Untold ‘Christmas Story.’”Directed by Bill Szarka,  “The Untold ‘Christmas Story’” is a documentary about the making of “A Christmas Story” and the phenomenon it has become. The documentary includes commentary and insights from the actors about their memories from the making of the movie.
Location: Gold Ballroom at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel.  
Cost: Included with Ralphie Pass; Separately $7 Adults, $5 Children.

5 PM: Last trip of the “Ralphie Express.” The last Lolly the Trolley trip departs A Christmas Story House for the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. The BB gun range in the back yard of A Christmas Story House also closes.
Location: A Christmas Story House.
Cost: Included with Ralphie Pass; Separately $7 Adults, $4 Children for round-trip transportation.

6 PM – 7:30 PM: Screening of “A Christmas Story.” Enjoy the movie on the big screen. 
Location: Gold Ballroom at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. 
Cost: Free.

6 PM: Winterfest! Get into the holiday spirit with the tree lighting ceremony, parade and fireworks show. The Winterfest parade will feature the actors riding in the fire truck from the movie. The parade and other events take place on Public Square in front of the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. Enjoy the parade while standing in front of the Higbee’s Building (also on Public Square) just like the Parker family did in “A Christmas Story.” 
Location: Public Square. 
Cost: Free.

7 PM: A Christmas Story House & Museum closes for the day.

8 PM – 11 PM: Premiere of “ClarkWORLD” documentary by ClarkWorld Films about the life and works of “A Christmas Story” director Bob Clark. Proceeds from ticket sales will go to the local Cleveland chapter of MADD. The movie features many of the people that worked closely with Bob Clark over the years, including Kim Cattrall, Denise Richards, Jon Voight, Scott Baio, Peter Billingsley, Dom DeLuise, and many others! Also on public display for the first time will be the two Genie Awards (the Canadian equivalent of the Oscars) won by “A Christmas Story.”
Location: Grand Ballroom at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. 
Cost: $5 Adults, $3 Children and please bring a new, unwrapped toy for the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots program. Priority upfront seating will be given to all Ralphie Pass holders, but they must still pay admission. VIP tables also are available. All proceeds go to support the local Cleveland chapter of MADD.   

SUNDAY, NOV. 30, 2008

12 NOON – 5 PM: A Christmas Story House & Museum opens. Tour the house, visit the museum and stop by the gift shop. Also, take your best shot (without shooting your eye out) at the BB gun range in the house’s back yard (weather permitting).
Location: A Christmas Story House. 
Cost: $7.50 Adults, $5.50 Children.

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