Rediscovering the Magic of "A Christmas Story" in Hammond, Indiana

Melinda Dillon, Peter Billingsley, Ian Petrella in A Christmas Story

Ever wondered where the magic of "A Christmas Story" truly began? Let's travel back to Hammond, Indiana. More than the birthplace of this beloved tale, it's where the essence of a classic American Christmas came to life. Hammond, with its snow-laden streets, quaint houses, and an air of nostalgia, serves as the unspoken character in our cherished holiday classic.

Imagine a small town, alive with the vibrant spirit of the festive season. Here, in Hammond, every street corner, every local shop, and each neighborhood home resonates with echoes of a bygone era – a time of innocence, warmth, and communal joy. It's in this charming backdrop that Jean Shepherd's imagination flourished, weaving the tales and characters that would one day become part of the fabric of American Christmas traditions.

As we delve into this nostalgic journey, let's rediscover Hammond's hidden corners. From the historic downtown, with its timeless architecture and festive decorations, to the local park, where children once played in the snow just like Ralphie and his friends, every aspect of Hammond whispers stories of Christmases past. It's a place where the simple joys of the season – the warmth of a community gathering and the laughter of children on a snowy day – are not just memories but living experiences.

Today, we step into the world of Jean Shepherd, the boy from Hammond whose dreams of Christmas painted a story that resonates across generations. It's in the heart of Indiana, in a town wrapped in winter's embrace, where our story finds its roots. Jean's childhood in Hammond was more than a backdrop; it was a character in its own right. Picture a young Shepherd, strolling down the snow-covered streets, his eyes sparkling with wonder at the holiday displays in store windows, the sound of carolers in the air.

But it wasn't just the festive charm that shaped his narrative; it was the people of Hammond. Shepherd's tales were peppered with the personalities he encountered – the neighborhood grocers, the school teachers, the local characters – all of whom added flavor and authenticity to his storytelling. These were not just figments of imagination but real-life inspirations, sketched from the memory of a boy who saw magic in the mundane.

We continue our journey as we explore Cleveland Street – the real-life counterpart to the film's setting. Discover how this ordinary street in Hammond inspired some of the most iconic and cherished scenes of "A Christmas Story." We'll see how the spirit of Hammond, though not captured on film, remained the heartbeat of every scene, every laugh, and every heartwarming moment.

In today's chapter, we trace the remarkable journey of "A Christmas Story" from the heart of Hammond to the silver screen of Hollywood. This transition is a testament to the enduring power of storytelling and the universal appeal of Shepherd's Christmas tale. The film may have been shot on a set, but every scene, every line, echoed with the essence of Hammond – its winters, its warmth, and its heart.

Because of its historical significance and this important moment in time, we felt that it was only logical that we celebrate 40 years of an American Classic in the heartland, the birthplace, Hammond, Indiana. We're thrilled to present 'Ralphie & The Gang Comes Home' - a grand celebration marking the 40th Anniversary of "A Christmas Story," set to take place in the very town that inspired our beloved holiday classic. Admission is completely FREE! For more information and to grab your free ticket, visit

This event is not just a simple reunion; it's a heartfelt tribute to Hammond, to Jean Shepherd's enduring dream, and to the everlasting spirit of Christmas. For the first time in over two decades, the beloved cast, including Peter Billingsley, is reuniting. Imagine the excitement when all your favorite characters from the movie come together under one roof, in the place where it all began.

Are you ready to step into a nostalgia-filled snow globe of memories and merriment? The excitement is palpable, and fans are flocking in like kids to the jingle of an ice cream truck. This gathering promises to be an event of the century, filled with memories, laughter, and that warm fuzzy feeling that only cherished movies and great company can provide.

Join us for this historic event in Hammond, where every street corner, every local shop, every home has a story connected to "A Christmas Story." Feel the magic of the holidays as we relive iconic moments, create new memories, and pay homage to the town that truly embodies the spirit of this Christmas classic. Be part of an event that's not just a celebration but a legendary gathering of hearts united by the love of a timeless story. Experience the joy, nostalgia, and charm of a story that, while globally beloved, remains forever rooted in the small-town warmth of Hammond, Indiana.

Ralphie & The Gang Comes Home

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