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Ava Gardner Museum

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Ava Gardner Festival This Weekend, October 9-10

The fifth annual Ava Gardner Festival is scheduled for Friday, October 9-Saturday, October 10 and this year’s theme celebrates the special relationship Ava shared with Ernest Hemingway.

Smithfield, NC, October 08, 2009 --( Each year the Ava Gardner Museum celebrates Ava's life and career by hosting the Ava Gardner Festival. This annual event includes heritage tours, screenings of classic Ava Gardner films, and special exhibits.

This year’s festival will kickoff during the Ava Gardner Festival Gala on Friday evening, October 9th and will continue Saturday, October 10th from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. The theme for the fifth annual festival celebrates the special relationship Ava shared with Ernest Hemingway.

Ava called Ernest Hemingway "Papa," and he called her "Daughter." The accomplished author admired Ava's work in the films based on his works, and considered her "the most exciting woman of her generation."

During her career, Ava Gardner did three films based on Hemingway works: The Killers, The Sun Also Rises, and The Snows of Kilimanjaro. To celebrate their special relationship, these films will be screened at the Public Library of Johnston County and Smithfield on Saturday, October 10th. Also, a special exhibit called Ava and Hemingway will be unveiled at the Ava Gardner Festival Gala, Friday, October 9 and will run through the end of May 2010. At the centerpiece of the exhibit will be a pocket watch given by Ava to Hemingway for his 55th birthday.

On Saturday, October 10th, heritage tours will be scheduled throughout the day. These tours will be hosted by Doris Rollins Cannon, Johnston County native and Ava Gardner biographer, and Rick Lotz, Chair of the Museum's Board of Directors. Visitors will be shown points of interest in Ava's hometown, including Ava's birthplace, the Teacherage where she grew up, the Howell Theater where Ava first went to the movies, and will end with a visit to her gravesite at Sunset Memorial Park.

For accommodations, three local hotels are offering special Ava Gardner Festival discounts. The Best Western Smithfield Inn (919-989-4047) is offering a special rate of $64.00 + tax, the Sleep Inn & Suites of Smithfield (919-209-2360) is offering a special rate of $67.96 + tax, and Becky’s Log Cabin (919-934-1534) is offering a special rate of $49.95 + tax. Call the hotel directly and mention the Ava Gardner Festival to take advantage of these special discounts.

For more information about the festival, including Festival Package rates, please call the museum at 919-934-5830.

The Ava Gardner Museum is located in downtown Smithfield, at 325 E. Market Street and more information may be found on the museum website, or by calling 919-934-5830. The museum is open Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm and Sunday 2pm-5pm with admission of $6.00 adults, $5.00 seniors and groups and $4.00 children.

Contact Information
Ava Gardner Museum
Jessica Meadows Hammett

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