Nothing says summer quite like a festival!
This weekend, July 16th through 17th, the Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy is hosting their Sixteenth Annual Red Skelton Festival here in his hometown of Vincennes, Indiana. Through the Annual Festival, the Red Skelton Museum carries on the world-famous comedian’s legacy of laughter to new generations on what would have been his 98th birthday.
The festival will host a variety of events, including a tribute to Red Skelton by the well-known Red Skelton impersonator Brian Hoffman on Friday evening; as well as a parade, Clown Follies, Donut Eating Contest, a magic show, Bathtub Races, kids games, and vendors all taking place throughout the day on Saturday at the Museum. There is also an opportunity to listen to Red Skelton’s former Lightman, Bill Birchfield, tell stories about the comedian; as well as to watch showings of “The Red Skelton Hour” TV show on Saturday afternoon.
If you are looking for something to do during the day on Friday, be sure to stop by the Museum early to view their most recent exhibit, “When Red was Richard,” which closes on Sunday, July 18th. The exhibit highlights moments of Red Skelton’s 16 years in Indiana as Richard Bernard Skelton, placing a special emphasis on his life here in Vincennes, and can be viewed during the Museum’s regular hours & is included with your general admission.
You now also have the opportunity to walk in Red’s footsteps. By following the guided map within the “When Red was Richard” exhibit pamphlet. The map takes walkers to twenty-four different destinations across Vincennes; all of which had significant meaning to the famous comedian’s life. Stops include his birthplace, the first stage on which he performed, and the mural that was dedicated to him in 2006.
You can also purchase a commemorative 16th Anniversary festival button to remember the weekend! Buttons are $5 each and are good for museum admission on July 17th.
For more festival information, please visit the Red Skelton Museum website or call (812) 888-4184.
In 1923 Red reportedly met comedian Ed Wynn, who gave a then fifteen-year-old Red Skelton his first look at what life on and behind the stage could look like. From that point on, “Red made it his life’s goal to perform and bring laughter to people” (Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy). Not long after, Red found himself making his Broadway and radio debut bringing his quick wit and comedic genius to the masses.