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'Field of Dreams' celebrates 25th anniversary

Kevin Costner will perform June 14

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By Anne Kapler, The Gazette  ::   UPDATED: 17 June 2014 | 10:24 am   ::  

"Ray, people will come, Ray. They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. . they'll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirt sleeves on a perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come, Ray."

That speech, delivered by Terrance (James Earl Jones) to struggling farmer Ray (Kevin Costner) in "Field of Dreams" could just as easily describe the real-life Field of Dreams baseball diamond in Dyersville, Iowa as the fictional one in the movie.

"Ever since the movie was released 25 years ago, people have shown up at the backstop at the field (at the movie site) and played ball there," says Keith Rahe who lives on a farm near the Field of Dreams Movie Site and is president of the Dubuque Area Convention & Tourism Bureau. "This is one of the few instances where life has imitated art. Typically it's the other way around."

To celebrate "Field of Dreams'" silver anniversary, cast members, including Kevin Costner, are scheduled to return to the movie site on Father's Day weekend, June 13 to 15. The weekend's festivities will include a Q-and-A with cast members, a baseball tournament and more. Tickets are sold out for all events at the field. Tickets are still available for America's River Festival where Coster and his band will perform.

"I've come to know how much this film means to people all over America, and particularly know how important it's become to Iowans," Kevin Costner said in a video recorded for a news conference to announce the event. "Field of Dreams is special to all of us that were lucky to be in it. It transcends more than just baseball."

Ghost Sundays will be back this summer, too, on select evenings. During this event, the Ghost Players emerge from the corn and play ball at the Field of Dreams Movie Site. Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and sunscreen.

Ghost Sundays are scheduled for 1 p.m. on July 6 and 20, and Aug. 3 and 17. There also will be a night game (7 p.m.) on Aug. 31.

"The night games are just magical," says Rahe, who started the Ghost Players and Ghost Sundays. "In the movie, when you see the fog rolling in . that happens out there at night. It's not a special effect. Last year the fog rolled in and you couldn't even see the guys in the outfield and then it lifted and left."

But even on days when there is no special event scheduled, the movie site continues to draw visitors from all over the world.

"People have become emotionally attached to that site for a variety of reasons," Rahe says. "It could be the love of baseball, but I think it's more about the relationships people have with their loved ones. That's why that place continues have such a firm hold on people's heartstrings and continues to be a viable destination after 25 years."

25TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

Matt Lauer will host a Q&A with cast members at 7 p.m. June 13, followed by a screening of the film in center field at 8 p.m.

VIP ballgames will round the bases June 14, with cast interviews by Bob Costas at 10:30 a.m. That night, Kevin Costner and his Modern West band will hit the stage at 8:30 p.m. at America's River Festival in Dubuque.

The action winds up with a Father's Day Brunch on June 15 with "Field" actor Dwier Brown.

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