Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Seneca Falls, New York

In 2008, we partnered with the town of Seneca Falls, New York to produce new lights for their downtown. The Seneca Falls Fire Department deemed the city’s old lights unsafe and said they were not allowed to be lit. We switched out their old incandescent lights with brand new long lasting, energy saving LED bulbs just in time for their huge annual holiday celebration, the It’s a Wonderful Life Festival.

For the past 66 years, Seneca Falls has held the festival to celebrate the movie that put their town on the map. As the story goes, legendary director Frank Capra visited Seneca Falls in 1945 to get inspiration for the fictional town of Bedford Falls, where the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, takes place. The three day festival features a parade, a screening of the movie, meet and greets with actors from the film, and much more. We are excited to attend this year’s festivities and hopefully we will see some of you there. Click on the read more button to see some pictures of the downtown and the 2008 festival.

It's a Wonderful Life

The Village of Seneca Falls may have inspired the hometown look of 
Frank Capra’s 1946 holiday film classic “It’s a Wonderful Life.” 
Mr. Capra is known to have visited here in the mid-1940’s at the time the 
screenplay for the film was being developed. Many similarities exist between 
Seneca Falls and the fictional “Bedford Falls” Among these are design
 of the Bridge Street bridge, the use of several place and personal names,
 and the village’s geographical location.

On April 12, 1917, Antonio Varacalli drowned while rescuing a young woman, 
Ruth Dunham, who had apparently jumped into the canal trying to commit 
suicide. He was pronounced dead at 11 a.m. and his death certificate states 
that he "drowned while attempting to rescue another person. He was 
22 years old. Antonio's death while rescuing Ruth Dunham is believed to 
be the inspiration for the 1946 Jimmy Stewart movie, "It's a Wonderful Life".

Actress Karolyn Grimes, who played George Bailey's daughter Zuzu
in It's a Wonderful Life, riding in the parade.

Downtown Decorations salesman Mike Desorbo with Seneca Falls
Mayor Diana M. Smith (right)

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