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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

James Dean Burial Site - Fairmount, Indiana

James Dean

Fairmount, Indiana.  This is no Pere Lachaise in Paris, France where Jim Morrison and Edith Piaf rest.

It is a small town between Indianapolis and Fort Wayne.  Not a destination in itself, but if you are driving in the area, it maybe worthwhile to detour.

Off Route 31 you get the sense of why James Dean escaped to Hollywood.

When you walk into the Fairmount Historical Museum, you will be won over. 

The museum is full of the actual items owned by James Dean.  There are four rooms packed full of James Dean's own clothes, letters, photographs, school reports, motorbikes, toys and other memorabilia donated both by the local community and by his film star friends.

Park Cemetery itself is a big place, far bigger than you'd expect of a town with a population of less than 3,000, so the map they give you at the museum is essential. And there it is: a modest headstone bearing his name and the years 1931-1955. Nothing more. It's no different from the hundreds of other headstones here, just as Fairmount's no different from thousands of other towns in the Midwest.

The 2011 James Dean Festival will take place from Thursday, Sept. 22nd through Sunday, Sept. 25th. The festival's main attractions will be the Annual Museum Days and the Annual James Dean Run.

Museum Days, a four-day long remembrance celebration, will feature live music performed on the Main Street stage; free showings of "East of Eden," "Rebel Without a Cause" and "The Giant;" James Dean look alike contest, dance contests, and a number of other events and activities suitable for children and adults of all ages.

The James Dean Run will take place at Fairmount's Playacres Park and feature car judging, flame throwing contests, music, trivia and much more.

The James Dean Festival is the quintessential festival for fans that wish to honor and celebrate the young actor who personified what it meant to be "cool" - James Byron Dean.

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