‘I Love Lucy’: Lucille Ball’s Hometown Gears Up for 70th Anniversary of Show

by Keeli Parkey

The hometown of one of the most beloved comedic actresses in the history of television is planning a celebration for the anniversary of the show that made her a star. That actress is Lucille Ball. The hometown is Jamestown, New York. And the celebration is in honor of the 70th anniversary of the debut of “I Love Lucy.”

The show premiered in 1951.

According to ErieNewsNow.com, the anniversary celebration will be held at the National Comedy Center. There will be exhibits about Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Arnaz was her husband and co-star during the filming of “I Love Lucy.”

“We took what is lauded as one of the most interactive museums anywhere in the world, which was named to Time Magazine’s World’s Greatest Places List, and we revamped it to be touch-free for the COVID era,” said Journey Gunderson. Gunderson is the executive director of the National Comedy Center, according to ErieNewsNow.

The annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival will also be held this summer. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was virtual last year. Luckily, there will be outdoor events this year, according to the report.

Festival in Honor of ‘I Love Lucy’ Star Set for August in Jamestown, New York

According to the National Comedy Center website, the 2021 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival will take place from Aug. 4-8. It will be the 30th staging of the festival.

Headlining the event will be popular comedian Jeff Foxworthy. Famous cast members of Saturday Night Live will also be in attendance. These include Kevin Nealon, Rob Schneider, and David Space. The festival will also include dozens of other events in Lucille Ball’s hometown of Jamestown, New York.

In addition to its star-studded lineup, the 2021 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival has many interesting events on its schedule. Unsurprisingly, some of these events were inspired by “I Love Lucy.”

One of these special events is a cruise on the steamboat Chautauqua Belle. Also, part of this cruise a lunch inspired by the “I Love Lucy” episode titled “Job Switching.” This, of course, is the episode where Lucy and Ethel go to work in a candy factory. Unsurprisingly, the lunch will include a chocolate dessert.

Another special lunch is also planned during the festival.

This event is titled “Tropicana Lunch.” The inspiration for this event is the New York City club where Ricky Ricardo worked on “I Love Lucy.”

The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival has showcased some major names in comedy during its decades-long run. On that list are comedy legends you will certainly recognize. Past performers include Jerry Seinfeld, Bob Newhart, John Mulaney, Jay Leno, Trevor Noah, Brian Regan, Amy Schumer, and Joan Rivers. There have also been performances by Ellen DeGeneres, Dan Aykroyd, Paula Poundstone, Nick Offerman, Ray Romano, Lewis Black, and The Smothers Brothers, according to the website.