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More than 900 people dressed like Lucille Ball showed up in her hometown over the weekend to celebrate what would have been the late actress-comedienne’s 100th birthday.
The gathering near a “Vitameatavegamin” sign in Jamestown, N.Y., set a world record for the most Lucy look-alikes, with a total of 915 — including men — according to published reports. It was part of an annual Lucy Fest in the upstate New York town.
The crowd arrived in typical attire adorned by Ball in her 1951-57 hit show I Love Lucy, including red lipstick and redheaded upswept ‘dos. Some recited “Vitameatavegamin” in unison — the word is from a classic episode of the show in which Lucy is hired to promote a health tonic that gets her drunk — and others sang “Happy Birthday” (the actual day is Aug. 6).
During the gathering, one man even proposed to his girlfriend; both were wearing nightshirts with the image of Ball’s iconic polka-dot dress and held cardboard cutouts of Lucy up to their faces. She said yes.
Some attendees also came dressed as Ricky, played on I Love Lucy by her then real-life husband Desi Arnaz, and neighbors Fred and Ethel Mertz, played in the show by William Frawley and Vivian Vance.
The festival also included performances by Joan Rivers and Paula Poundstone.
Ball died in 1989 at age 77. She was buried in California but was later moved to Jamestown’s Lakeview Cemetery by her daughter, who said her mother wanted to be buried next to her own mom.
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