New tributes planned for Johnny Carson in Norfolk, Neb. - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

New tributes planned for Johnny Carson in Norfolk, Neb.

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NORFOLK, NE. (KTIV/US92) - The Great American Comedy Festival was founded in 2008 as a way for the City of Norfolk to help pay tribute to late-night legend, Johnny Carson, who called the town home.

Now, festival organizers and city officials are teaming up to make Carson's presence felt in other ways.

Officials with the Great American Comedy Festival have announced that they've entered into an agreement with the city of Norfolk and a local artist to repaint a well-known mural downtown with the likeness of Johnny Carson.  The current mural, seen at the corner of 3rd and Norfolk Avenue, was created 15 years ago when the building housed a bicycle shop.  That shop has since moved on, and festival officials have drafted an agreement with the original artist and the building's current owners to have the mural repainted.

Festival organizers say the idea is to give visitors to Norfolk a sense for what Carson means to the town.

"Norfolk is proud of the fact that Johnny Carson grew up here and proud of the fact that he gave so much back to the community in terms of financial support for so many projects," says Kent Warneke with the Great American Comedy Festival.  "If we can do something to tout Norfolk as Johnny Carson's hometown, I think it's an appropriate and smart thing to do."

In addition to the mural, the downtown parking district has agreed to put up banners bearing Carson's likeness along Norfolk Avenue, and city officials have agreed to post two additional signs reflecting 13th Street as Johnny Carson Boulevard through Norfolk.

Comedy Festival officials say they expect all of those tributes to be in place in time for the Comedy Festival this June.

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