Wilmington family excited about movie building Ferris wheel in their backyard

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The magic of Hollywood East means a backyard Ferris wheel for a Wilmington family. At least for a few weeks.

The Cape Fear is no stranger to the Hollywood lights from big blockbusters to small independent films constantly setting up shop around town. But building a 50-foot Ferris wheel in someone’s backyard? That’s probably a first.

This Monday, the carnival scene will become a reality for homeowner Erin Thompson.

“Our kids are very excited, and I know when it gets up, it’s going to be more grandiose than we can even imagine,” Thompson said.

Crews with the Hallmark Hall of Fame film “Christmas in Conway” will take about five days to construct the Ferris wheel in Thompson’s backyard on Forest Hills Drive. The movie stars Golden Globe-winner Mary-Louise Parker.

Thompson says she has seen a lot of production crews filming throughout her neighborhood over the last 11 years, and she’s happy to now have part of the spotlight.

“We will be here during the actual filming and some of the overnight stuff when it’s an actual, working Ferris wheel, so it’s gonna be pretty amazing,” Thompson said.

Of course, the mother of two young boys had one question she just had to ask.

“We’re not allowed to ride the Ferris wheel, because we did ask that,” she said.

A film permit shows there will be some stunt work with a person falling from the amusement ride. That’s news to Thompson.

“OK,” she said with a laugh. “That’s good to know.”

Thompson tells us her neighbors are fully supportive of the Ferris wheel being built in her backyard. Crews will shoot there through mid-August.

“Christmas in Conway” is scheduled to air on ABC and WWAY later this year.

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