Hammond brings 'A Christmas Story' to life by displaying classic scenes from the movie

Fans of the classic holiday movie "A Christmas Story" are heading to Northwest Indiana for a special treat. 

Hammond is the hometown of the man who wrote and narrated the movie and based the character of Ralphie on himself.

Since its debut nearly 40 years ago, "A Christmas Story" has become one of those must-see every year holiday movies.

Now, Ralphie’s ride down the slide, Flick’s triple dog dare and the Bumpus hounds stealing the turkey are all on display in the hometown of the man who created the classic.

"We felt like there was a local connection, so we brought the displays here," said Heather Becerra of the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority.

Inside the Indiana Visitors Center in Hammond, just off the interstate, seven animated displays feature different scenes from the movie.

They were originally built for the Macy’s store windows in New York, and were brought here about a dozen years ago. 

They now attract about 30,000 visitors a year.


"We have people who come routinely from Missouri, from Idaho, from different parts of the United States," said Cathy Svetanoff of the Visitors Authority. "Simply because they’re stopping here, but also others who come because it’s a tradition for their family."

While the movie is set in the fictional Midwestern town of Hohman, writer and narrator Jean Shepard was a Hammond native who based many of the characters and places on his childhood here.

For some visitors, it’s more than just movie memories. 

Visitor Jamie Lapina grew up in Hammond and said it was part of her dad’s life. 

"He went to school with Jean Shepherd at Harding school. So he knew Flickinger and all the characters. Mom went to school with Randy," said Lapina.

"We have had some of the actual actors (visit the display) that played in the movie," said Becerra. "They were kids then, but they’re all grown up now. We’ve had the teacher, we’ve had the bullies. We’ve had Flick, which we actually have the bronze statue out in front of the building."

The exhibit is free and is open through Jan. 2. 

If you want to see Santa here, you’ll need to go online to make a reservation.