"It's surreal," said Schwartz said of the bronze statue, which depicts him at the age of 14. "What do you say about something that will be here after you are gone?"
Batistatos said the statue was selected because Jean Shepherd, author of "In God We Trust All Others Pay Cash," the book "A Christmas Story" was based on, is a native of Hammond.
"The South Shore CVA wanted to do something special for our 30th anniversary, as well as the 30th anniversary of the holiday classic 'A Christmas Story,'" Batistatos said.
Batistatos said the celebration will feature visits to the welcome center by other cast members during the holiday season.