Festival Dates are Set!

    We invite you to Downtown Smithfield, NC, the first weekend of October 4-6, for the Ava Gardner Festival, to learn about Ava, her rural upbringing, her five-decade career as a global film star, her great loves, and her exciting life abroad. The Museum is hard at work putting together the details of this year's activities. The tentative schedule of events is below, but please check back with us for planning your trip to Smithfield!

    Ava Gardner stars in Pandora and the Flying Dutchman.Friday, October 

    Museum opens with regular hours

    Food trucks, concessions and Pandora and the Flying Dutchman @ Neuse River Amphitheater

    Down by the Neuse River at the newly renovated amphitheater is the perfect location for the film, Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951). There will be food trucks to enjoy before the movie starts at nightfall, which should be around 7:30pm. We suggest for a more comfortable experience, that you bring a lawn chair (wall seating and grass seating is available). 

    Ava Gardner and Clark Gable in Mogambo, 1953.Saturday, October 5   

    Museum opens with regular hours

    10:00am-Noon                  Mogambo @ Howell Theatre (Tickets required)

    The Howell Theatre will host the film Mogambo (1953). Ava's love for silver screen is attributed to her precious childhood moments at this historic theatre, originally built in 1935. 

    1:00pm and 3:00pm          Heritage Tours

    Sunday, October 6

    10am-12N                           Breakfast with Ava
    Join us Sunday morning at the museum for breakfast served with The Goddess Blend coffee and a film screening of the delightful movie, One Touch of Venus in museum's theater.

    5:00pm                               Museum closes.

    Stay tuned as the Ava Gardner Festival Team continues to organize more events and activities. 

    Places to Stay in Smithfield


    Logo for the Ava Gardner Museum in Smithfield, NC.




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