forest-lawn.JPGPopular Holiday Event, It WAS A Wonderful Life, Kicks Off The Series With Weekend Matinee Performances Beginning November 30

Buffalo, N.Y. - The historic chapel at Forest Lawn will be alive with music, history and entertainment again this fall, winter and spring as this unique cultural and educational destination kicks off its fifth annual Sunday In The Cemetery® Concert & Lecture Series with a very special holiday presentation.

Forest Lawn's popular holiday event, It WAS A Wonderful Life (IWAWL), is back this year, written and directed by Joseph Demerly. IWAWL will be narrated by John Lay, the first person to be interred in Forest Lawn (in 1850). Mr. Lay will introduce the audience to several of the friends he's made over the last 163 years at Forest Lawn - all portrayed by local actors - who will give the audience a glimpse into Christmases past, when they enjoyed life on this side of the Lawn. Forest Lawn's historic chapel will be festively decorated for this holiday event, which begins on November 30 and runs every Saturday and Sunday through December 29. All performances begin at 2:00 p.m. Cost is $25 per person. Seating is limited; reservations are required and can be booked by visiting or by calling 716.885.1600 for more information.  A complete list of performance dates and times can be found on the website. Forest Lawn's Sunday In The Cemetery® concert and lecture series continues with weekly programs held each Sunday in January, February, March and April (except Easter Sunday). All events take place at 2:00 p.m. in Forest Lawn's historic chapel. Cost is $15 per person per event. Seating is limited; reservations are required and can be booked by visiting or by calling Forest Lawn at 716.885.1600. Genealogy Sundays: First Sunday of Each Month             Sunday, January 5, 2014: Genealogy 101 Forest Lawn is one of the largest repositories of individual and family heritage in Western New York. Join Forest Lawn and Rhonda Konig, Grosvenor Room Librarian at Buffalo & Erie County Public Library's Central Library, in the historic Forest Lawn chapel for an introduction to genealogy research, including basic concepts, types of records used, and an overview of genealogy resources available through the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library System. Sunday, February 2, 2014: Print Resources for Genealogy Research Primary records aren't the only sources for genealogy research. Published works can advance family lines, provide details of ancestors' lives and help break down brick walls. Join Forest Lawn - one of the largest repositories of individual and family heritage in Western New York - and speaker Rhonda Konig, Grosvenor Room Librarian at Buffalo & Erie County Public Library's Central Library, and learn how print resources such as histories, directories, newspapers and magazines can help you expand your family tree.  Tips on locating published resources will also be given. Sunday, March 2, 2014: Genealogical Research Strategies: Where To Begin...and Will It Ever End? Join Forest Lawn - one of the largest repositories of individual and family heritage in Western New York - in its historic chapel as Local History Researcher and Genealogist Jennifer Liber Raines discusses strategies for planning your research efforts and organizing your genealogical materials. Learn about the increasing importance of integrity, source evaluation and citation in our changing digital world. She will also discuss how varied sources, creative problem solving and a well-designed organization system will help support your research efforts. Sunday, April 6, 2014: Once Upon A Time             Do you remember your first day of school? How about that summer vacation on the ocean, your wedding, special birthdays, family reunions? Do? you savor remembrances of that favored family pet or welcoming your children into the world? Special moments turn into memories of a lifetime...memories that deserve to be preserved and shared. Author Christina Abt will provide you with a template that will make it simple and fun to create a journal of your favorite life memories. In the process you will relive many wonderful experiences and preserve them... for yourself and for generations to come. The Music of Forest Lawn With O'Connell & Company: Second Sunday of Each Month Sunday, January 12, 2014: Melody of Love Join O'Connell & Company in the historic Forest Lawn chapel as we celebrate the music of some of Forest Lawn's famous musical legends, including the beautiful love ballads by Charlie Fuqua and the Ink Spots, the Boogie Woogie style of Pete Johnson and the society band hits of Irv Shire. Sunday, February 9, 2014: Stars & Stripes Forever Join O'Connell & Company in the historic Forest Lawn chapel as we commemorate Presidents Day with a musical nod to Forest Lawn's presidential connections! Sing along, clap along and tap your feet to the beat of the music that pays tribute to our great country. Sunday, March 9, 2014: It Takes A Woman O'Connell & Company's hit show DIVA by DIVA: A Celebration of Women! pays tribute to the DIVAS of Forest Lawn in Forest Lawn's historic chapel. Join us for songs, quotes, stories and more in honor of Women's History Month. Sunday, April 13, 2014: Always Enjoy O'Connell & Company in Forest Lawn's historic chapel for an entertaining tribute to one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th century: Irving Berlin. Also featured will be memorable songs by E. Ray Goetz, the brother in law and contemporary of Irving Berlin who is buried in Forest Lawn along with his sister - Irving Berlin's first wife, Dorothy Goetz Berlin. Buffalo Comes Alive at Forest Lawn: Third Sunday of Each Month Sunday, January 19, 2014: Buffalonians In The City of Light Some of the characters in Lauren Belfer's historical novel City of Light were, in fact, real people living in Buffalo at the turn of the last century who now "reside" in Forest Lawn. Come hear Buffalo History Enthusiast Denise Prince talk about the lives of illustrious Buffalonians such as the Rumsey family; the Coatsworth family; Maria Love; Mary Talbert; John Albright; John Larkin and more. Sunday, February 16, 2014: Buried in Forest Lawn...Alive On Our City Streets Many of Buffalo's streets are named after people who now call Forest Lawn "home." Join Forest Lawn and Buffalo History Enthusiast and Urban Planner Angela Keppel, who will tell the intriguing stories of how some of those buried in Forest Lawn live on in the names of our city's streets - from President Millard Fillmore to General Bidwell and more. Sunday, March 16, 2017: The Angola Horror: Terror Near the Nickel City             Just days before Christmas in 1867, a fiery train wreck at Angola, NY shocked the nation and transformed American railroads. In her new book, The Angola Horror, award-winning journalist Charity Vogel tells the true-to-life story of this horrific and historic event and those involved, including the roughly 50 who died in the wreck -- some of whom are now buried in Forest Lawn. Charity will be on hand after the talk to sign copies of her book. Getting To Know Forest Lawn: Fourth Sunday of Each Month Sunday, January 26, 2014: Buried in the Forest Lawn Archives Get a sneak peek into Forest Lawn's historic archives as Volunteer Archivist Shane Stephenson presents a lively discussion in the historic Forest Lawn chapel. After providing an overview of death registers, burial permits and lot registers - records well known to genealogists - Shane will discuss other types of records that will capture the attention of genealogists, historians and anyone else interest in the rich legacy of Forest Lawn's 165-year history. Sunday, February 23, 2014: Artwork on the Forest Lawn Canvas Join Interpretive Program Director, Sandy Starks, as she takes you on a virtual artistic journey highlighting the many works of art on the Forest Lawn canvas. You will hear the interesting stories behind many of the sculptures, statues and fountains - created by such artists as Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Larry Griffis and Charles Cary Rumsey - that grace our beautiful grounds.      Sunday, March 23, 2014: Returning the Forest to Forest Lawn Join Forest Lawn Horticultural Manager Matthew Quirey in the historic Forest Lawn chapel as he discusses the history of the Forest Lawn landscape, its expansion and change over the past 160+ years and plans for the planting of nearly 4,000 trees over the coming years in an effort to "return the forest to Forest Lawn." Sunday, April 27, 2014: Forest Lawn: Older Sister to Delaware Park When he arrived in Buffalo to discuss designing our city's park system, Frederick Law Olmsted was brought to Forest Lawn - one of the first deliberately-designed and professionally-landscaped rural cemeteries in the United States - to study its beautiful landscape. In 1869, Olmsted and Calvert Vaux planned a naturalistic landscape adjacent to Forest Lawn for the city's grand new public park. Join us as Frank Kowsky, author of The Best Planned City in the World: Olmsted, Vaux, and the Buffalo Park System, talks about the relationship between Forest Lawn and what is now Delaware Park. Frank will be on hand after the talk to sign copies of his book. Information on all of Forest Lawn's events, including tours and the Sunday In The Cemetery® Concert & Lecture Series, can be found at Forest Lawn As one of the first deliberately designed and professionally landscaped rural cemeteries in the United States, Forest Lawn is at the heart of Western New York's cultural tourism renaissance. Its first interment took place in 1850; today there are 162,000+ permanent residents in this 269-acre, not-for-profit cemetery serving all faiths. As a destination for art, history and genealogy research, Forest Lawn offers year-round guided tours, educational programming, an annual flag retirement ceremony, countywide special veteran programming on Memorial Day and Veterans Day and more. Forest Lawn is the only local full-service cemetery for traditional and cremation arrangements listed on the State and National Registries of Historic Places. At Forest Lawn, the future is our past. For more information, visit or find us on Facebook.