Begin the day at the Elkhorn Valley Museum. The featured exhibit includes the Johnny Carson Gallery where you can see the history of Norfolk’s famous son. Items in the exhibit include his Emmy awards, Kennedy Center medallion and a replica stage where you can hear one of Mr. Carson’s favorite monologues. Spend some time in the living room watching the best of Carson. Your visit isn’t complete without checking out the square turn tractor, printing press and other historical memorabilia.
At the museum, historical reenactment: Faye Gordon, portrayed by Peg Timmer-Kathol. Faye, who taught school in Norfolk, was a favorite teacher of Johnny Carson, who featured her on his show later in her life. She has travelled here from 1942.
Next stop is the Johnny Carson Mural. This large series of paintings by artist Karl Reeder, shows the progression of Johnny’s career. This is a great spot to take a picture!
Enjoy lunch at Black Cow Fat Pig. Black Cow has a polished casual atmosphere, with an emphasis on locally-sourced food and a scratch kitchen. Everything is made in house, from its hand-cut fries to homemade desserts. It sources (or Owners Michael and Amber Behrens source) the ingredients locally and place an emphasis on supporting our local Farmers Market with our seasonally-inspired menus.
After lunch, tour Johnny Carson’s childhood home in Norfolk. Owner, Jim McKenzie, will speak about the history of the house and items found along the way while bringing it back to its original condition. Baden Luna, will portray young Johnny. John has come home from 1939 to share what it was like to be a kid in Norfolk in the 30s. He may just have a trick or two up his sleeves…….
Tour and taste at the Norfolk Arts Center. This modern building has two gallery spaces that houses traveling exhibits, as well as a sculpture garden and several permanent pieces. The Norfolk Arts Center brings people and the Arts together. Enjoy a wine tasting event.
Take in a show at the Great American Comedy Festival in June. Honoring his legacy as one of America’s greatest comedians ever, paying tribute to his status as a TV icon and remembering with gratitude the fondness Carson had for the community he called home. The Great American Comedy Festival was created in 2008 to pay tribute to the legacy of Norfolk’s favorite son, Johnny Carson.
Special accommodations can be made for bus tours.
Sleepover at Our Place: Book your rooms at one of Norfolk’s plush hotels. Listing of lodging.