The Ava Gardner Museum hosts an annual festival in honor of the legendary actress, fashion icon, and humanitarian Ava Gardner, a NC native who grew up just 7-miles east of Smithfield. This year’s Ava Gardner Festival, scheduled for Oct. 7-9, will include a multitude of exciting events, including new exhibits, heritage tours, special film and video presentations, plus much more. Ava truly loved music, from the big band sounds of her second husband, Artie Shaw, to the torch songs that Frank Sinatra was so famous for singing following their break-up. Be sure to attend the festival's opening event, a musical tribute to Ava with the NC Revelers Orchestra from Raleigh featuring guest performers John Arthur Greene and Angelique Alexander. This collaboration also includes Jonathan Levin, founder of The Clayton Piano Festival, playing a medley of Ava's movie songs. A Musical Tribute to Ava Gardner is sponsored by First Citizens Bank and will take place the evening of Oct. 7 at The Clayton Center.


Lynell Seabold

325 E. Market St.
Smithfield, NC 27577

(919) 934-5830

Updated July 29, 2022

Local Information

Johnston County Visitors Bureau

Johnston County

Learn More