Long Park was transformed into an outdoor movie theater June 20 as the second annual Movies in the Park kicked off its summer film series with the Disney film “Frozen.”
The Farmington Parks and Recreation Department, in conjunction with First State Community Bank, began the summer series with the hit movie to the delight and excitement of many movie goers.
“This is a great family night in the park,” said Stephanie Noll, who was in attendance with her family, adding the feature is a favorite of her daughter, Katelynn.
As the sun began to set and the temperature began to cool, the park quickly became the social center for families to enjoy popsicles, popcorn and lemonade.
“This is my first experience at Movies in the Park,” said Jeneen McEntire, director of public relations for First State Community Bank. “I am so excited by this. We are bringing the fun of a drive-in to the community without any of the worries of children getting hurt by passing cars. This is fantastic.”
As the evening began, a carnival like atmosphere settled over the park as movie goers began arriving early for the show. Little girls dressed as Princess Anna or Elsa began anxiously waiting to sing-along with their favorite princess as soon as they arrived. While others danced to the sounds of J98 Radio, the audience members struck up conversations with the person sharing a patch of grass next to them.
“I think this is a really neat thing the city is doing,” said Mandie Cummings, who brought her two nieces. “They are so excited to have their blankets and stuffed animal while they watch their favorite movie.”
According to Bud Norman, director of facility maintenance for Farmington, the event was a success.
“This has been a beautiful evening in Farmington,” Norman said. “It’s been one of the largest events that in the park and I think people really like the hometown atmosphere.”
City Administrator Greg Beavers was also impressed with the evening’s turnout.
“This is a nice family event and it doesn’t cost anything,” Beavers said. “It’s great for people to come out and spend the evening in their community. Last year was our first year and it was very popular. This year, First State Community Bank was gracious enough to pay for the licensing fee and sponsor the whole event.”
As dusk fell upon the city and the movie started, the carnival atmosphere was replaced with the sounds of children and parents singing along to their favorite songs.
“We had to come out and see it,” Doris Stuarts said. She was in attendance with her husband, Harold and their granddaughter. “The kids sing it all the time, so we wanted to see what it was all about.”
Like the Stuarts, many people were at the Movies in the Park for the first time. Some were drawn to the park for the movie itself, while others because it was a nice family alternative.
“This is our first time here,” Courntey McIntyre said. “We tried to make it last year but it was rained out. This is really great.”
The next movie scheduled for Movie in the Park is “The Lego Movie” on July 18. For more information, contact the Farmington Civic Center at 756-0900.
Craig Vaughn is a reporter for the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-756-8927 or at firstname.lastname@example.org