Thousands get one last “Neighborhood” visit

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Around 5,000 fans of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood lined up out the door and down the street from WQED in Pittsburgh to take one last look at pieces of its famous set, which are bound for storage, according to the Pittsburgh Nonpartisan Examiner. Mr. McFeely, still played by Dave Newell (now spokesperson for Rogers’ production company Family Communications Inc.), spent 12 hours on Saturday and Sunday posing for photos with visitors and sharing their memories in the station’s Studio A, which was officially renamed Fred Rogers Studio. Fans got an up-close look at King Friday XIII’s castle, X the Owl’s tree and other pieces. A Pittsburgh Post-Gazette video captures the excitement. WQED rep Rosemary Martinelli said visitors came from as far away as Alaska and Korea. One special moment: Rogers’ son John brought his son, Ian, born 12 days after Rogers’ death in 2003. The long line was temporarily halted as the two explored the set alone. At that point, one woman told Martinelli she’d wait as long as it took and was honored to witness that touching scene.

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