It’s a Wonderful Life in Pottersville, NJ

Previously on this blog, we’ve talked about It’s A Wonderful Life. In the Personal Favorites post I did a few years ago, I mentioned the fact that every year Pottersville, NJ puts up a display celebrating the movie.

For the unfamiliar, It’s A Wonderful Life is about a man named George Bailey who wishes that he had never been born, only to be shown a hypothetical world where he had never been born by his guardian angel, Clarence. In the alternate world in which George has never been born, a greedy banker named Mr. Potter has taken over Bedford Falls and renamed it Pottersville. The movie’s Pottersville is truly dystopian compared to the small-town-America feel of Bedford Falls – Pottersville feels like a trashy city compared to the bucolic aesthetic of Bedford Falls.

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When George is brought back from the Pottersville world, he knows he is back in his real life when he sees a sign that reads “You Are Now In Bedford Falls.” George sees the Bedford Falls sign, he shouts with joy, and just yells “Merry Christmas” at people as he runs down the street, having realized that life is worth living. It’s probably the happiest sequence in any movie.

On my commute home, I drove through the coincidentally-named Pottersville, New Jersey. To my surprise, they had put up signs that read “You Are Now In Bedford Falls.”

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The best thing about finding this was how unexpected it was. I had read an article from a few years ago that talked about this sign, but nothing recent enough to suggest that it was an annual holiday tradition. So when I first drove past the sign I said to myself, “Huh, I think that said Bedford Falls.” I pulled back around and took the above picture. As a huge fan of the movie, this was neat to see.

This is kind of a big if, but if you live near Pottersville and love It’s a Wonderful Life to a ridiculous degree, like I do, see about checking out these signs during the holiday season.

Life is wonderful, everyone. God bless. Thanks for reading!

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