HAMMOND, Ind. — There are many Christmas movie classics that
go perfect with a warm blanket and hot cocoa, such as “White Christmas” and
“Frosty the Snowman.” But family favorite “A Christmas Story” stands as one of
funniest shows of the season.
The iconic scene of a young boy with his tongue froze to a
pole is recognized by generations of fans. To commemorate the classic “triple
dog dare you” scene, a $40,000 bronze statue of Flick was constructed in front
of the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority in northwest Indiana.
“The statue has been under construction for better part of
the last year,” said Speros A. Batistatos, president and CEO of the convention
center. “It was a very labor-intensive process to make a bronze statue. It
starts with the artist making the structure all the way down to the detail in
The statue holds special meaning to the town of Hammond,
where writer Jean Shepherd grew up.
Shepard’s 1966 book, “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash,”
was the inspiration for the movie, “A Christmas Story.”
“If you watch the movie, it references the major downtown
street in Hammond,” Batistatos noted. “You see references to a guy in Griffith
and a number of references to Lake County and Hammond, including the elementary
Scott Schwartz, the actor who played Flick, attended the
unveiling of the statue on Oct. 29. A few feet taller than his statue, Schwartz
described the experience as “surreal.”
Visitors can do much more than have their picture taken with
Flick’s statue while in Hammond. Inside the visitor center is a Christmas
wonderland of activities and photo ops.
“The foundation of our work with ‘A Christmas Story’ was the
purchase of six animatronics window displays that depict various sciences from
that movie,” Batistatos said. “In addition to unveiling the Flick statue for the
30th anniversary, we are unveiling a new window.”
Window 7, a scene depicting Ralphie’s dream of shooting the
“bad guys” with his Red Ryder BB gun, now is onsite next to its sister displays.
The visitor center hopes to send Window 6 to the Riley
Hospital for Children in Indianapolis for the holiday season.
“Our organization is very family oriented and all about
giving back,” Batistatos said. “We thought about what a great thing it would be
to put this window in Riley’s. Hopefully, it will be a small emotional lift to
While visiting the animated displays at the visitor center,
guests also can be a judge of a Christmas tree decorating contest, get a picture
with Santa or write a letter to send to the North Pole.
The gift shop sells the iconic “A Christmas Story” leg lamp
along with other souvenirs. For a complete list of activities and events, visit