The event will include races on both Saturday and Sunday, an attempt at breaking the world record for most people grape stomping and an appearance by legendary comedian and actor Bob Newhart. Plus, there will be a variety of other activities that tie in with the weekend-long event.
The event is being sponsored Univera Healthcare and coordinated by the Lucy-Desi Center for Comedy, Chautauqua Striders and the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena. Lucy-Desi Center executive Director Journey Gunderson says she is obviously excited to have a legend like Newhart come to Jamestown on Saturday night.
“The coolest part of everyone’s reaction is that they’re excited to see someone who they consider one of the most iconic comedy legends in American history,” Gunderson recently told WRFA. “And young people know him from The Big Bang Theory – we’ve heard young people tell us, ‘I love [Newhart’s character] Professor Proton!’ So that is something I didn’t necessarily expect but have been excited to see. It’s a really cool thing to see that the audience is really going to range in people who knew him from Bob Newhart, his TV show in the 70s and 80s, to people who know him from his 2013 Emmy Award-Winning performances on The Big Bang Theory.”
Gunderson says this will actually be Newhart’s second appearance in Jamestown. He was also in town in 1996 for the Lucille Ball Festival of Comedy celebration.
A limited number of tickets for the Bob Newhart show at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts on Saturday night are still available and can be purchased by visting www.lucyrace.com or by calling 484-0800. They can also be purchased at the Reg Lenna box office.
The weekend will also include an effort to break the world record for most people grape stomping in one location. Gunderson said that this is simply a fun way to celebrate Lucy and one of her most memorable scenes on television.
“Jamestown received so much positive press from the 2011 Guinness World Record of the most people dressed as Lucy Ricardo so its’ always been in the back of our minds and not the forefront certainly to break records, but to celebrate comedy, so we looked at it that way,” Gunderson said. “We wanted to celebrate one of the most iconic comedy scenes in television history – so many people celebrate the scene when Lucy stomps grapes in that classic I Love Lucy episode… and also celebrate that we are in the largest grape-growing region east of the Rockies.”
The current record for most people grape stomping is 970 and was set in Spain. However, Gunderson is confident that that the new record will be set this Saturday, starting at 11am. The grape stomping will take place on W. Second St. near the Jamestown Gateway Train Station. Everyone is encouraged to stop by and register to take part up to the start of the event.
And of course the main purpose of the event this weekend is the 5K race on Saturday along with the half-marathon on Sunday. This is the second year for both events and Gunderson says registration this year has already surpassed last year. And even if you don’t plan to run, Gunderson is encouraging all residents to come out on Sunday and cheer on the runners and celebrate in the post-race activities, which include a live concert from Jamestown’s own Smackdab – beginning at 11 a.m. Sunday in front of the Ice Arena.
Another event this weekend that ties in with the Lucytown Half Marathon and 5K run is hockey at the Ice Arena, which features the Southern Tier Xpress taking on the Pittsburgh Vengeance Saturday afternoon.
For more information on all the events, visit www.lucyrace.com or by calling 484-0800.
WRFA’s interview with Journey Gunderson, regarding the 2014 Lucy Town Half Marathon, will take place Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. on WRFA.