BING CROSBY HOLIDAY FILM FESTIVAL IS SATURDAY, DEC. 14, 2019
10:30 a.m. White Christmas
1 p.m. Going My Way
3:30 p.m. Waikiki Wedding
5:30 p.m. live music by Howard Crosby
and The Zonky Jazz Band
7:30 p.m. White Christmas
The 14th Annual Bing Crosby Holiday Film Festival will be held on Saturday, Dec 14, 2019, featuring some of the best loved films of Spokane’s own Bing Crosby, along with a gallery of photos of the famous entertainer, film clips of him entertaining the troops in WWII and a special live musical performance by Howard Crosby (son of Bing Crosby’s brother Ted) and Spokane’s own Zonky Jazz Band, featuring music from the Crosby era.
The non-profit Bing Crosby Advocates (BCA) presents the festival at the Bing Crosby Theater in downtown Spokane each December as part of the community’s celebration of the holiday season. It was at this theater, then known as the Clemmer, that a young Bing Crosby began his career by performing skits in between the silent films shown there. The theater was renamed for him in 2006.
Tickets for the festival are $10 each and are good for the entire day’s events. Tickets are available at the door only (no advance sales) and must be purchased by check or cash (no credit/debit cards). Children age 12 and under will be admitted free.
More information is available at BingCrosbyAdvocates.org.
Of special note this year is the 75th anniversary celebration of the film Going My Way, for which Bing won the 1944 Academy Award for Best Actor. The film received a number of other Oscars as well – Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Barry Fitzgerald) and Best Music/Song (“Swinging on a Star”). Bing fans are also treated to hearing him sing such cherished songs as “Ave Maria” and “To-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ra (An Irish Lullaby).”
(An authorized duplicate of Bing’s Oscar, donated to Gonzaga by Bing Crosby himself, is on display at the Bing Crosby Museum on Gonzaga’s campus, 508 E. Sharp Avenue. Visitors are welcome, and admission is free.)
In the film Bing plays a familiar role for him, that of a priest. He grew up in Spokane’s Logan District, was an altar boy at St. Aloysius Roman Catholic Church and was friends with priests from Gonzaga University throughout the course of his life, said Bill Stimson, BCA president.
And, of course, festival favorite White Christmas will be shown, as will – for the first time – the film Waikiki Wedding, starring Bing Crosby and Martha Raye, and featuring such songs as “Blue Hawaii” and “Sweet Leilani,” the latter of which won the 1937 Oscar for Best Music/Original Song.
Doors open at 9:30 a.m. The festival begins with the 10:30 a.m. showing of Bing Crosby’s traditional beloved holiday film White Christmas. Going My Way shows at 1 p.m. Waikiki Wedding will be on screen at 3:30 p.m.
At 5:30 p.m. local jazz, swing and blues musicians The Zonky Jazz Band (new name for the same group that has been entertaining at the Festival for the past several years) will play favorites from the Bing Crosby era, followed by Bing’s nephew Howard Crosby, who will perform many of his Uncle Bing’s songs. And at 7:30 p.m. the festival concludes with a repeat showing of the classic White Christmas.
For additional festival information, call (509) 993-1732 or (509) 842-8664.
Bing Crosby Advocates is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to maintaining the legacy of Bing Crosby and helping preserve the Crosby
House Museum and the historic theater where the world-famous entertainer began his show business career. The organization accepts dona-
tions to help continue its work, which includes the annual Bing Crosby Holiday Film Festival. For information, visit BingCrosbyAdvocates.org