FULL SCHEDULE: It’s A Wonderful Life Weekend in Seneca Falls

The 75th Anniversary Celebration of “It’s a Wonderful Life” is underway in Seneca Falls through Sunday, December 12th. There is no shortage of things to do in Seneca Falls over the weekend. Check out the complete schedule of events below and please take note of the mask & vaccination policies at the bottom of the page if you plan on visiting “The Real Bedford Falls” and taking part in the celebration.

Wednesday, December 8:

Autograph Signing: 2:00 – 4:30 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.

10:30 am: Welcome Reception & Launch of the 75th Anniversary Celebration of It’s a Wonderful Life with cast members from It’s a Wonderful Life. Bedford Falls at BonaDent (2495 Bonadent Dr.) Each year, BonaDent transforms itself into Bedford Falls for the holiday season. Attendees must show proof of completed vaccination. Registration for this event is closed.

12:30 pm: The Arrival of the Eighth Cast Member – George Bailey’s Car. With the 1919 Dodge Touring Car will be its owners, Keith and Marilyn Smith, who have restored and preserved this important piece of film history. James Chrysler Dodge Jeep & Ram (1429 NY-414) — open until 8:00 pm.

2:00 pm: Presentation by Donald & Ronald Collins: “Notes from Little Pete.” Trinity Episcopal Church (27 Fall Street).

2:15pm: Video tour by Brian Rohan of locations in Los Angeles County where It’s a Wonderful Life was filmed including: The Martini House; Stage 14/Culver City Studios; Site of the RKO Ranch; and Beverly Hills High School. Trinity Church.

2:30 pm: Michael Willian, Author: “It’s a Wonderful Life Uncovered: Everything You Need to Know and Have Been Missing All These Years.” Trinity Church.

3:30 pm: Michael Willian, Author. “Wonderful Life Scene Sightings: Speed Rounds on Animals, Toys, US Presidents & More Spied in Your Favorite Scenes.” Trinity Church

4:00 pm: A Ringing of Bells — Launch of “The Timeless Message of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ – A Journey Through Seneca Falls.” Participants will include representatives of the Seneca County Suicide Prevention Coalition and RiSE (Resilience and Inclusion for Students Everywhere) youth group. Church bells have historically been rung in times of celebration to herald in good news. As Seneca Falls becomes Bedford Falls and begins the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of “The Most Inspiring Film of All Time,” participants are invited to ring the church bell and sign the bell wall. The First Presbyterian Church of Seneca Falls, the site where Alice Paul first introduced the Equal Rights Amendment in 1923 (23 Cayuga St., Seneca Falls).

6:00 pm: “There’s a Moon Out Tonight” – Meet and Greet with Cast Members from It’s a Wonderful Life. The National Women’s Hall of Fame. Tickets $50 plus tax. Call 315-568-5838 for tickets. Participants must show proof of completed vaccination.


Thursday, December 9:

Autograph Signing: 12:00 – 2:00 pm & 2:30 -4:30 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.

9:00 am: “Zuzu, My Little Gingersnap.” Presentation by Karolyn Grimes (“Zuzu Bailey”). Ma Bailey’s Kitchen at Trinity Church. Tickets $25 includes breakfast (Quiche, fruit, coffee or tea and a Ginger Snap). Call 315-568-5838 for tickets. To ensure a safe environment for the actors, attendees must show proof of completed vaccination.

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 – 5:00 pm: The Ultimate “It’s a Wonderful Life” Christmas Tree (from California). The Shop Around the Corner, 60 Fall Street.

9:00 am – 8:00 pm: Visit George Bailey’s Car at James Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram.

10:00 am – 2:00 pm: First Presbyterian Church: “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. 23 Cayuga Street.

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.

10:30 am: Videotaped interview with Carol Coombs (“Janie Bailey”) from the 65th Anniversary Celebration in 2011. Trinity Church.

11:00 am – 4:00 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 & Heritage Museum. Discounted admission — $6. Free admission if you come in costume.

11:15 am: “Bread, Salt & Wine” Housewarming in association with Habitat for Humanity featuring actors from It’s a Wonderful Life, 27 Tyler Avenue, Seneca Falls.

Noon: Videotaped tour by Brian Rohan of locations in Los Angeles County where It’s a Wonderful Life was filmed including: The Martini House; Stage 14/Culver City Studios; Site of the RKO Ranch; and Beverly Hills High School. Trinity Church.

12:15 pm: The Shop Around the Corner, Radio Play featuring Brian Rohan. Trinity Church.

1:00 pm: “My Dad, His Remarkable Life.” Videotaped presentation by John Kuri, producer, director, author and son of Emile Kuri (Set Decorator for It’s a Wonderful Life, who was instrumental in creating Bedford Falls and was the first person born in Mexico to receive an Academy Award). Trinity Church.

2:00 pm: Video about the making of the snow for It’s a Wonderful Life by Bob Lawless, Special Effects Team, It’s a Wonderful Life. Trinity Church.

2:05 pm: “It was a Wonderful Decade.” Presentation by Michael Chapin (“Young George’s Friend”) on his career as a young actor. Trinity Church.

3:00 pm: “Jimmy Stewart’s Wonderful Life.” Presentation by Janie McKirgan, Executive Director, The Jimmy Stewart Museum. Includes a short biography on Jimmy Stewart narrated by his daughter Kelly. Trinity Church.

4:00 pm: Special Announcement: It’s a Wonderful Life Museum, Donna Reed Center & Heritage Museum & The Jimmy Stewart Museum. Featuring Mary Owen (Donna Reed’s daughter), Janie McKirgan (The Jimmy Stewart Museum) and the Advisors and Board of Trustees of the It’s a Wonderful Life Museum. Trinity Church.

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

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

4:15 pm: “Tommy Bailey and More: It Wasn’t Just ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’” Presentation by Jimmy Hawkins (“Tommy Bailey”): Trinity Church.

5:00 pm: Classic episode of The Donna Reed Show featuring Jimmy Hawkins and Shelley Fabares: “Mary’s Driving Lesson.” Trinity Church.

7:00 – 9:30 pm: Special Screening of Frank Capra’s American Dream. Introduction by Monica Capra Hodges (Frank Capra’s granddaughter). Ron Howard hosts this biography of the life and career of Frank Capra. Includes archival footage and interviews with family members, directors, actors and friends, including: Tom Capra, Frank Capra II, Film Historian Jeanine Basinger, Martin Scorsese, Oliver Stone, Richard Dreyfuss, Angela Lansbury, Peter Falk, Michael Keaton and “Bedford Falls Productions” Directors Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovicz. Trinity Church.


Friday, December 10: Celebrating the Legacy of Frank Capra

Autograph Signing: 11:00 am – 1:00 pm & 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.

9:00 am – 4:00 pm: Launch of the Bedford Falls Holiday Postal Cancellation. 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 – 5:00 pm: Artist Yakovetic & The Ultimate “It’s a Wonderful Life” Christmas Tree (from California). The Shop Around the Corner, 60 Fall Street.

9:00 am – 8:00 pm: Visit George Bailey’s Car at James Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep & Ram.

10:00 am: Presentation by Jimmy Hawkins (“Tommy Bailey”): “Frank Capra and Me — Untold Stories.” 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 & Heritage Museum. Discounted admission — $6. Free admission if you come in costume.

10:45 am: Video tour by Brian Rohan of locations in Los Angeles County where It’s a Wonderful Life was filmed including: The Martini House; Stage 14/Culver City Studios; Site of the RKO Ranch; and Beverly Hills High School. Trinity Church.

11:00 am: Presentation by Michael Willian (Author, The Essential It’s a Wonderful Life: A Scene-By-Scene Guide to the Classic Film). “Touring Bedford Falls: An Immersive Look at the Film’s Downtown and Residential Streets.” Trinity Church.

12:00 noon: Presentation by Paul Abate, Artist: “I want to live again! Reflections and lessons from George Bailey.” Trinity Church.

12:30 pm: “A.P. Giannini: The American Tale of the Italian Banker.” Presentation by Miles Ryan Fisher, Editor-in-Chief, Italian America Magazine, on Frank Capra and A.P. Giannini (Founder, Bank of Italy/Bank of America), who is believed to be the model for George Bailey. Trinity Church.

1:30 pm: “Frank Capra: What America Was to Him.” Presentation by John Kuri, filmmaker, son of Emile Kuri (Set Decorator for It’s a Wonderful Life who was instrumental in creating Bedford Falls). Trinity Church.

2:30 pm: “Ruth Bailey’s Life Philosophy.” Presentation by Carol Moss Loop, daughter of Virginia Patton Moss (“Ruth Dakin Bailey”). Trinity Church.

3:00 pm: “Interesting Facts About George Bailey’s Car.” Presentation by Keith Smith, owner of this important piece of film history. Trinity Church.

3:30 pm: “A Hollywood Producer’s Guide to George Bailey: Frank Capra’s Most Wonderful Hero.” Presentation by Harold Buchholz, an Executive Producer and Writer, Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Netflix). Mr. Buchholz has taught college film classes, was a Senior Vice President at Archie Comics, and writes and draws the comic strip Sweetest Beasts on Instagram. Trinity Church.

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

6:00 pm: Frank Capra’s Preview Dinner. MC: Monica Capra Hodges (Frank Capra’s granddaughter). Del Lago Resort & Casino, 1133 NY-414 (ten minutes from Seneca Falls, right off Thruway at exit 41). Participants need to show proof of completed vaccination. Sold out.


Saturday, December 11:

Autograph Signing: 11:00 am – 1:00 pm & 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. Tickets at the door.

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 & 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 & 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 & 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 & Inclusion for Students Everywhere” youth group. First Presbyterian Church.

4:40 pm: It’s a Wonderful Run 5K

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.


Sunday, December 12:

Autograph signing: 11:00 am – 12:30 pm & 1:00 – 2:30 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.
St. George Living History Productions will broadcast via Zoom from the It’s a Wonderful Life Museum throughout the day as part of their Road Trip to the Museum. It’s a Wonderful Life Museum.

8:00 am – 11:30 am: Pancake Breakfast by the United Way. Seneca Falls Community Center. Tickets at the door.

8:00 am — Noon: Visit George Bailey’s Car at James Chrysler, Dodge, Jeem & Ram.

8:30 – 10:30 am: Karolyn Grimes 19th Anniversary Breakfast Celebration. Ballroom, The Gould Hotel. Sold Out. To ensure a safe environment for the actors, attendees must show proof of completed vaccination.

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 – 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.” 32 Fall St.

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 & Heritage Museum. Discounted admission — $6. Free admission if you come in costume.

11:00 am: Trinity Episcopal Church offers its own take on It’s a Wonderful Life — Listen to what Trinity folks learned from their study of It’s a Wonderful Life during Advent and how that can be applied to any community, maybe even the country. Discussion will be facilitated by the Rev. J. Brad Benson, parish priest. Trinity Church.

11:00 am until gone: Roasted chestnuts by the Knights of Columbus. Free. Corner of State and Fall Streets by The Gould Hotel.

11:30 am: Presentation by Donald & Ronald Collins: “Notes from Little Pete.” Trinity Church.

11:45 am: Presentation by Michael Willian (Author: The Essential It’s a Wonderful Life). “RSVPs for The Bailey Christmas Eve Gathering: Who’s There, Who’s Not & Everyone’s Back Story.” Trinity Church.

Noon – 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.

12:30 pm: “It was a Wonderful Decade.” Presentation by Michael Chapin (“Young George’s Friend”) on his career as a child actor. Trinity Church.

1:30 pm: “The Backstory of Mr. Potter, Uncle Billy and the Other Jimmy.” Presentation by Sal St. George, writer, director, producer, St. George Living History Productions. Trinity Church.

2:30 pm: Videotaped interview with Carol Coombs (“Janie Bailey”) from the 65th Anniversary Celebration in 2011. Trinity Church.

3:00 pm: “Look Where It’s a Wonderful Life Has Taken Us!” Presentation by Karolyn Grimes and Jimmy Hawkins. Trinity Church.

4:00 pm: “The Bells of The Real Bedford Falls.” Gather in front of the It’s a Wonderful Life Museum to hear the bells throughout town ring in honor of those who have impacted our lives. To have a bell rung in honor of someone ($20 donation), click here.

6:00 pm: “For Auld Lang Syne – the Final Scene Dinner.” Seneca Falls Country Club. [Sold Out] Participants must show proof of completed vaccination.


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.

Vaccination/Mask Policies:

Starting Wednesday at 1:00 you can show your vaccination card in order to get a wristband that can be used throughout the week for the events requiring vaccination. There are two locations to get the wristbands:

1) Table in front of the Ballroom at the Gould Hotel

2) The Shop Around the Corner — 60 Fall Street.

Masks are required at indoor venues and events regardless of vaccination status.

More Information: