Comedic attraction

Of the thousands of visitors to Jamestown for this weekend’s Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, many say they would return to visit the National Comedy Center.

Travelers from all over the country have been attending Lucy-themed events, such as the silent auction at the Gateway Train Station, which ends today at noon.

Personal items belonging to Ball and “I Love Lucy” collectibles are on display.

Another event at the train station on Friday was Comedy Happy Hour, with performances by stand-up comedians Moody McCarthy, Emma Willmann and T. Faye Griffin.

Comedians T. Faye Griffin, Sean Donnelly and Michael Palascakalso also performed.

The comedy show was well received, with several audience members saying they would return to attend shows at the National Comedy Center.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Melissa Maraglia of Jamestown. “My husband and I both lived in Cincinnati, Ohio, and there were several comedy clubs there that we went to quite often. It’s a great thing to do as a pastime, and this is the perfect place to have a comedy center.”

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held for the comedy center park today at 5:45 p.m. at the track level of the train station, 211-217 W. Second St. Prior to the groundbreaking, there will be another free Happy Hour of Comedy.

While the comedy center is scheduled to open in July 2016, the groundbreaking will kick off Phase 1 of the project, which entails construction of the center’s plaza and park. Phase 2 will involve construction of the facility, which will be located at the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities’ current substation on the corner of Second and Washington streets.

Kelsey Owen traveled to Jamestown from Washington, D.C., for Lucy Fest with her mother, Katherine Owen, of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Both said they would return to the National Comedy Center.

Patrick McNamara and Tiffany Lundberg visited from Buffalo, and said they would return for today’s groundbreaking ceremony.

Area native Tom Filsinger, who is producing a movie for the third annual 24 Hour Insomniac Competitive Film Festival set for Aug. 24, was at the train station on Friday afternoon to film.

“I’ve been spending a lot of my time here,” he said. “When people love something and they share that fun together, that’s great. I think Jamestown will benefit greatly from a comedy center.”

Several Lucy Fest events are scheduled for today, including a sold-out performance by Jay Leno tonight at 8 p.m. at the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena.

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