By Richard G. Biever
If words and phrases like:
- “You’ll shoot your eye out”
- “Triple-dog dare”
- and “Oh, fuuuuuudge!!”
immediately bring smiles to your face and visions of BBs ricocheting in your head, have we found a home for you this holiday season!
Hammond’s “‘A Christmas Story’ Comes Home” is a holiday exhibit and festival fashioned around events and characters from the classic comedy “A Christmas Story.” The oft-shown 1983 flick is about young Ralphie Parker’s Christmas quest for a Red Ryder BB gun.
Set in the early 1940s in the fictional town of Hohman, Indiana, the movie is based on the semi-fictional collection of short stories by the late humorist Jean Shepherd. Hohman was a disguise for Shepherd’s real hometown: Hammond. Hohman is one of Hammond’s busiest downtown streets.
Now in its 12th season, the exhibition and events, which run through Dec. 31, take place at Hammond’s Indiana Welcome Center, 7770 Corinne Drive. The center is easily accessible on the southwest side of the Interstate 94/80 interchange with Kennedy Avenue and sits between the Wendy’s and the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store.
The Exhibit — Six animated displays depicting scenes from the movie that were first showcased in the windows of the Macy’s in New York City.
Santa’s Mountain — A great photo op with Santa atop a mountain — just like the one in the movie — where youngsters can share their Christmas wishes and then ride the red slide down into a pillow of snow.
Holiday Market — More than a dozen artisans from around the Region will be selling handmade items. Dec. 7-8, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
All is Calm— Santa welcomes children with autism or other special needs in a sensory friendly and accessible visit. Dec. 13, 10 a.m-1 p.m. and 4-7 p.m.
Oh Fuuudge! Relay Race — Two different age groups of kids, 4-7 and 8-12, along with a parent will partially (it’s hoped) recreate the flat tire scene from the movie, racing against time to remove lug nuts, run an obstacle course with the lug nuts in a hubcap, and re-install the lug nuts. Dec. 14, 10 a.m.
Mommy’s “Little Piggy” Eating Contest — Another movie scene is recreated to see who can eat the most mashed potatoes. Four age groups will compete for major awards: 4-7, 8-12, 13-17 and 18-and-over. Pre-register online. Dec. 21, 10 a.m.
For a full list of activities, events, dates and times, please visit www.achristmasstorycomeshome.com. And if you go, just be sure to:
- consult trusty Blue’s compass in the stock,
- avoid triple-dog dares,
- beware of bullies with yellow eyes and toadies,
- D-R-I-N-K Y-O-U-R O-V-A-L-T-I-N-E,
- but mostly — deck your holiday with Christmas cheer and song … “fa-ra-ra-ra-raaaa, ra-ra-ra-raaaaaaaa …”