By Mica Evans | Echo
The Fairmount Historical Museum in Grant County will be hosting their annual James Dean Festival from Sept. 28 until Sept. 30 starting at 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and ending at 4 p.m. on Sunday.
If you missed out on last year's festival, you do not want to miss out on this one. This family-oriented festival is for all ages. Every year, there are turnouts for grandparents, young adults, and children, so the Taylor community is immensely welcomed.
"The museum began sponsorship as a way to raise money to keep our doors open and to keep the festival going, no small task. This is the museum's primary source of income as we are totally self-funded. This is our 43rd year!" said Cole Reeves, president of the Fairmount Historical Museum.
If you are an automobile lover, one event at the James Dean festival you will not want to miss is the car show. Tons of '50s classic and custom automobiles will be on display.
Most of the cars in this show are from the late '40s-'60s. However, the show is restricted to entry of pre-'80s cars only. On Sunday, several awards including monetary prizes are given out to those with the best cars.
"There is a special place for Mercury cars as that is what James Dean drove in 'Rebel Without A Cause'," Christy Berry, committee member of the James Dean festival event team said. "It is called the Merc Corral."
If you own a Mercury car, or if you are able to contact anyone who owns a Mercury car, then come out and encourage others to come out to show us what your own 'Merc' looks like.
Reeves and his team are expecting 1,500 to 1,800 show cars of all types to be put on display by The Ninth Street Car Club.
All proceeds from this show will be donated to local charities by the car club. Over the past few years, the car show alone has made an excess of $85,000 in donation funds.
"If you love all things automotive, you will not be disappointed," Reeves said.
Be on the lookout for special guests and celebrity friends of the late James Dean. Reeves stated that they oftentimes never know who to expect at events like this one. When celebrities do show up, it is because they are also fans of James Dean and, as a rule, do not announce their presence.
Almost every year, authors of James Dean related books show up on site. This year, Lew Bracker, a friend of James Dean will be at the museum signing his books.
"James Dean is iconic, and as such, he attracts people from all walks of life," Reeves said.
If you think you look like James Dean, or if you were ever told that you resemble him, then come out and take part in the James Dean look-alike contest. Lew Bracker will be judging the look-alike contest while Dominic Scaglione, Jr., who acted in 'Jerseys Boys' on Broadway and in the 'Doo Wop Project', will be the MC for this year's look-alike contest.
Prizes for not only the look-alike contest but all games and contests at the festival include ribbons, plaques, trophies, gift certificates and even cash rewards.
There will also be other exciting events such as swap meets, a 5k walk and much more!
Berry says that she is looking forward most to meeting and greeting friends from all over the world as well as the James Dean look-alike contest. On the other hand, Reeves says that his favorite part is always being able to see many people, both young and old from all over, show up and bask in the James Dean mystique.
Both Reeves and Berry believe that because the interest in James Dean is continuously growing, the fair will also grow in size annually. If the weather is great this year, they firmly believe that the turnout will be even greater than last year's.
Reeves is looking forward to seeing a great turn out by the Taylor and Upland community at this year's festival.
"Come one, come all, enjoy a weekend with us, it's all free, patronize our many vendors and if you think of it, I would like a large turtle sundae from Ivanhoes!" said Reeves.