Ava Gardner Festival
Join us in Smithfield, NC for the Ava Gardner Festival featuring new exhibits, FREE movies, heritage tours and more! For more than 30 years, museum volunteers have welcomed visitors from around the world to learn more about the iconic movie actress who was born in Johnston County. Over these many years, visitors love the personal stories featured in rotating exhibits and the extensive movie memorabilia the museum has curated over the years.
The Ava Gardner Museum will open new exhibits featuring Ava's movie career, "Bringing Back Ava's Costumes", with garments that date back to some of Ava's earliest movies like She Went to the Races (1945), and My Forbidden Past (1951). Ava's career spanned four decades, which began as a MGM starlet in 1941 to her last years starring in television mini-series and the night-time drama, Knots Landing.
There will be an opening night reception at the museum on Friday night, special hours, heritage tours to sites related to Ava’s hometown, her birthplace, and Sunset Memorial Gardens (Ava’s grave site), and FREE movie showings over the weekend of June 5-6, 2020.
Regular museum admission will be honored all weekend, with special ticket prices for the Opening Night Reception and heritage tours. Area hotels are offering special rates for visitors traveling to Smithfield for the weekend.
Suggested places to stop when visiting the museum