The Ava Gardner Museum in the star’s hometown of Smithfield is dedicated to preserving her legacy and hosts this annual festival for visiting fans to enjoy new exhibits, film screenings, and other special events throughout the weekend. The 2023 Ava Gardner Festival will be the finale of the museum's year-long celebration of Ava’s 100th birthday with special guests, new exhibits, guided heritage tours, screenings of Ava’s films, and new gift shop items. The opening day reception will include the always popular coconut cake made with the family recipe that Ava enjoyed on her birthday each year as a child. In addition, to kick off this year's festivities there will be a free showing of the movie Show Boat on the evening of Oct. 6th, hosted at the brand new Neuse River Amphitheater in Downtown Smithfield, just blocks from the museum. For more details, visit


Lynell Seabold

325 E. Market St.
Smithfield, NC 27577

(919) 934-5830

Updated August 3, 2023

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