Monday marks the 25th anniversary of the premiere of the "Field of Dreams" film, and it also was the day the Field of Dreams' movie site owner announced the film's star would be returning to the site in June.
Much of the iconic baseball movie was shot in Dyersville and throughout Dubuque County.
At a press conference Monday morning in Chicago, the Field's owner, Denise Stillman, announced details of a 25th anniversary celebration, set to take place the Friday and Saturday of Father's Day weekend, June 13-14.
Actor Kevin Costner, who starred in "Field of Dreams" as Ray Kinsella, and NBC's Matt Lauer and Bob Costas, are among the celebrities who will be visiting Dyersville for the 25th anniversary celebration.
“I am looking forward to returning to Dyersville to celebrate the 25th anniversary of 'Field of Dreams,'" Costner said in a press release. "I’ve come to know how much this film means to people from all over America and particularly know how important it has become to Iowans.
'Field of Dreams' is special to all of us that were lucky enough to be in it, too," he continued. "It transcends more than just baseball. It is about believing in the unbelievable. It’s about relationships. It’s about fathers and sons and the things that go unsaid for too long."
Costner will reunite with Dwier Brow, the actor who played Kinsella's father; Timothy Busfield: the actor who played Kinsella's brother-in-law; and other "Field of Dreams" cast members at the event, which will include a showing of the film on a large screen at the field.
Families are invited to attend, free of charge, bringing along their lawn chairs and blankets.
Lauer will conduct a Q&A session with the cast, and Costas will emcee the event.
On the morning of Saturday, June 14, fathers and sons will be invited to "have a catch" on the field, reenacting the emotional final scene between Costner's and Brown's characters.
Next, sponsors will play in a daylong baseball tournament, with celebrities and cast members acting as team managers. The day will wrap up with a celebrity baseball game.
On Saturday night, Costner and his band Modern West will perform at America's River Festival in Dubuque. Tickets for that concert are sold separately.
Also attending the event will be some names from Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young award winner and 1985 World Series MVP Bret Saberhagen, former MLB pitcher and 2013 World Series champion Ryan Dempster and former MLB pitcher Glendon Rusch.
Actor Joel Murray and comedian and actor Jeff Dye will also be at the celebration. Stillman said she will soon announce more cast members and celebrities slated to attend.
The 25th anniversary celebration in Dyersville will coincide with the 10th annual America's River Festival in Dubuque.
Keith Rahe is president of the Dubuque Convention and Visitors Bureau and organizer of America's River Festival.
"Can't wait!" he said with a grin while sitting in his office Monday afternoon, discussing the weekend. "It's going to be exciting."
Rahe said Father's Day weekend 2014 will be a huge weekend for the entire area.
"Within the area, you know, we've got over 2,500 hotel rooms," Rahe said. "It'll be busy, so if you're interested in coming that weekend, I recommend that you get your hotel rooms right away, but we have great camping."
On a personal note, Rahe grew up in Dyersville, he now lives near the Field of Dreams and has spent years as one of the Ghost Players, a group of ambassadors and performers for the field.
"To see this continue to be the focus of such great things, it's very gratifying," Rahe said. "You know, it's a ball field in a corn field in Dyersville, Iowa, and it continues to bring this type of attention and these type of celebrities, you know, back to it after all these years. Says a lot about it, says a lot about the people in the area."
Rahe hopes to see the film's legacy live on for years to come.
So does Denise Stillman. She bought the Field of Dreams site and surrounding land in 2013. She plans to keep the movie site as it always has been: pristine and open to the public.
In the land beyond it, however, she plans on constructing a 24-field youth baseball and softball tournament complex called All-Star Ballpark Heaven. Phase one, which includes six fields, is set to open in 2015. Stillman said she anticipates a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction later this spring.
“All-Star Ballpark Heaven’s mission is to be America’s premier venue for fun family memories surrounding national baseball and softball tournaments," Stillman said in a media release. "Coaches and their teams will enjoy premier facilities with pro-style team clubhouses and superb turf technology that guarantees high quality play for our 29-week season."
Sponsorships are available to participate in the Father's Day weekend events with VIP access, Stillman said. However, spectators are invited to attend for free. Donations will be accepted for Ed Randall's Fans for the Cure, benefiting prostate cancer research.
For more information, visit www.fodmoviesite.com
Actor Dwier Brown released his new book, "If You Build It..." in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of Field of Dreams. In this memoir, he tells about his experiences as the father in Field of Dreams, about his own father and about his life as an actor.
Brown said fans have recognized him from the movie and told him personal memories of their own dads and what the movie meant to them.
“It has moved me over the years the way people connected to Field of Dreams," Brown said in a media release. "These are stories that will resonate with everyone, whether you had a good relationship with your father or not."
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Friday, June 13
Field of Dreams Movie Site – Dyersville, Iowa
6:00 p.m. VIP Reception and Dinner
7:30 p.m. Q & A with Cast Members – Matt Lauer, Moderator
8:00 p.m. Movie Night – Field of Dreams shown on big screen on field
Saturday, June 14
Field of Dreams Movie Site – Dyersville, Iowa
10:00 a.m. Fathers and Sons – “Wanna Have a Catch”
11:00 a.m. Sponsors Baseball Tournament
4:00 p.m. Celebrity Championship Game
America’s River Festival – Dubuque, Iowa
7:00 p.m. Gin Blossoms
8:30 p.m. Kevin Costner & Modern West
10:00 p.m. Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
Field of Dreams Movie Site: 28995 Lansing Road, Dyersville, Iowa 52040
America’s River Festival: 300 Main Street, Dubuque, Iowa 52001
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