MANSFIELD — “Hope is a good thing; maybe the best of things,” wrote Andy Dufresne, played by Tim Robbins, in the cult-favorite film “The Shawshank Redemption.”
In his letter to Red, played by Morgan Freeman, Dufresne punctuated that sentiment, writing, “And no good thing ever dies.” The quote is boldly exemplified by fan love for the cable TV movie fixture, which IMDB lists as the No. 1 movie of all time.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of “The Shawshank Redemption,” which generations of movie buffs have adored since its 1994 release after being shot in its entirety in and around Mansfield, Ohio. This August 16-18, travelers are encouraged to join cast members and other Shawshank die-hards in Mansfield to immerse themselves in the film’s iconic characters, sets and history.
Many actors from the film will be in attendance too, offering visitors the chance to meet their favorite Shawshank characters in person. To date, Bob Gunton (Warden Norton), William Sadler (Heywood), Mark Rolston (Bogs), Frank Medrano (Fat Ass), Alfonso Freeman (Red’s Mugshot and a Fresh Fish Guy), Scott Mann (Glenn Quentin), Renee Blaine (Linda Dufresne) and Claire Slemmer (Bank Teller) will be on hand to meet fans. Additional guests, events and features are being added as details are finalized and travelers are encouraged to book travel now, but follow @ShawshankTrail social media for updates.
“The Shawshank Redemption” anniversary will be celebrated with more than a dozen original film sites in and around Mansfield hosting tours and events throughout the entire weekend. First on everyone’s list will be the Ohio State Reformatory, which starred in the movie as Shawshank State Prison. On the Hollywood Prison Tour, guests will go everywhere from inside Warden Norton’s office to Andy’s escape tunnel — and all points in between.
Visitors are invited to travel the full, self-guided Shawshank Trail driving tour as they visit even more Shawshank filming sites, including:
Bissman Building (Brewer Hotel and Portland Daily Bugle)
Renaissance Theatre (Premiere of Shawshank Redemption)
The Shawshank Oak Tree Field (While the tree was toppled by high winds in 2016, its pastoral location remains.)
Pugh Cabin at Malabar Farm (Opening scene)
Crosby Advisory Group LLC (Maine National Bank)
Revivals 2 Thrift Store (Trailways Bus Station)
Wyandot County Courthouse (Andy’s Trial)
Shawshank Woodshop (Prison Workshop)
Carrousel Antiques (Pawn Shop Window)
Snyder & Hagerman Roads in Butler, OH (Road to Buxton)
Red’s Bus Ride on Rt. 95 in Butler, OH (Bus to Fort Hancock, TX)
Brooks’ Bench (Waiting for Jake)
KV Market (Food-Way)
On Friday night, Aug. 16, the film will be shown at the historic Renaissance Theatre, where the movie premiered in 1994. On Saturday afternoon, actors will be available for autographs at the Ohio State Reformatory, followed by The Exclusive Shawshank Reception cocktail party.
The 5th annual Shawshank Hustle 7k family fun race also takes place on Saturday. This race features a route with filming sites, T-shirt, custom medal, food, music and more. Registration for the race is open today. Some events will require tickets, and special anniversary souvenirs will be available for purchase to commemorate the exciting anniversary.
A destination unlike any other, Mansfield is home to a wealth of unusual travel adventures and experiences, such as visiting the working farm where Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall were married, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Kingwood Center Gardens, BibleWalk, breathtaking scenery, rural and hometown experiences. Hiking, biking, golf, cross-country and downhill skiing, bird watching and loads of other outdoor adventures attract travelers of all ages. Complete visitor information is available at DestinationMansfield.com or 800-642-8282.