It’s a Wonderful Life in Indiana Pennsylvania

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It’s a Wonderful Life in Indiana Pennsylvania

*Guest Post – Ellen Matis, author of Life Disconnected blog, tells us why we should visit the It’s a Wonderful Life” Festival in her hometown of Indiana Pennsylvania.

Indiana Pennsylvania — hometown of Jimmy Stewart — comes alive year after year during the holiday season.

The small, western Pennsylvania town is home to the “It’s a Wonderful Life” Festival, held annually now for 16 years. This year is the first year it’ll be held for six weekends, starting with the kickoff on Nov. 18.

Jimmy Stewart Indiana Pennsylvania

Home of Jimmy Stewart (Photo Credit Doug Kerr via Flickr)

Here are a few reasons why you should visit the actor’s old stomping grounds while the festival’s going on this season:


It’s a family friendly event
Indiana Pennsylvania

It’s a Wonderful Life holiday festival (Photo Credit: The Indiana Gazette)

Organizers make sure that the festival has plenty of activities for children and adults alike. For the kiddos, you’ll find hayrides through downtown; holiday-themed crafts, an area to make s’mores and more. During the kickoff weekend, kids can visit with Santa and pet his live reindeer that are making a stop from the North Pole.





You can buy your tree in the Christmas Tree Capital of the World

There are approximately 23 tree growers in Indiana County, and you’ll be able to visit the area’s tree farms to find the perfect tree for your family. Be prepared for a day in the country: Wear comfortable shoes and clothing — and don’t forget your camera for the opportunity to take a photo of this unique adventure! More information is available at


Thousands of lights will line the downtown streets

The event, for the first time, will feature light displays from one of the country’s former holiday lights tours. You’ll see them displayed throughout the entire downtown area.  During the kick-off to the festival, a 30-foot Christmas tree will be lit, and scores of people gather every year to see it (although it’ll be bigger than ever this year!)

In years past, some locals have even proposed during the tree lighting.

Indiana Pennyslvania

Light Up Parade (Photo Credit Indiana Gazette)

You can watch your favorite holiday movies

And you can watch them in Indiana’s vintage theater on Philadelphia Street. This year they’re showing holiday favorites like “Elf,” “A Christmas Story,” “Home Alone,” and, of course, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The full schedule of movies is available here.

During the entire duration of the festival, you’ll find a variety of food, entertainment and more. More information about the event is available at



 Ellen Matis is the author behind Life Disconnected, a travel and lifestyle blog. Visit the blog at

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5 thoughts on “It’s a Wonderful Life in Indiana Pennsylvania

  1. Shobha

    I love that movie! It’s such a Christmas classic in the USA that I must’ve watched it every year growing up. It’s great that this town has decided to join in the fun – a nice homage to Jimmy Stewart.