Movies in the Park, A Local Summer Tradition

Movies in the Park has become a family favorite tradition for summer outdoor fun in the Willmar Lakes area. The event coordinators take the traditional spin of outdoor drive-in movies and bring it to our local community. Vision 2040 funds from the 2019 grant were utilized to purchase a movie screen and speakers to project the movies for the Movies in the Park program. Prior to this investment, this equipment was rented for each showing.

This past summer of 2020 organizers utilized the screen and speakers for the adjustments from the Park showing, to a parking lot showing due to COVID-19. The movie screen was placed on a flat bed making the movie visible for families to enjoy a movie night from the comfort of their vehicles. The four movie showings scheduled for this series featured the following films: Jumanji II, Sonic the Hedgehog, Frozen II, and Toy Story 4. Although Frozen II had to ironically be cancelled due to weather, the series caught great audiences for the three other movies. Jumanji II saw approximately 30 cars, Sonic saw roughly 16 cars, and Toy Story 4 saw roughly 30 cars. Overall, the Movies in the Park group is pleased with the turnout for this summer.

Projector Screen Movie Set up in Gymnasium

Project Challenges

Changes that were made for this season of Movies in the Park were moving the location from Robbins Island to the Civic Center Parking Lot. This decision was made to create a safe environment for families to come to and enjoy the movie in the comfort of their own vehicle, due to COVID-19. Advertisement adjustments were made to inform the community of the location change. Overall, this ran very smoothly allowing some families to enjoy the film with no bugs and a more drive-in setting. Families got creative with utilizing mattresses, inflatable water tubes, foam pads, and lots of blankets to create their ideal movie setting!

Project Future

“We, as a committee of Movies in the Park, feel that we provided an event for the community, families, friends to attend in a safe environment given the circumstances our world is currently navigating. This program provided a night out of the house for families, a date night, an opportunity to do something with friends, when so many things had been cancelled this summer,” stated Britta Diem, Movies in the Park Coordinator.

Want to see a future Movies in the Park feature? Stay up to date with upcoming films on their Facebook page!

Vision 2040

Willmar Lakes Area Vision 2040 is a grassroots movement in Kandiyohi County to make our communities better than they were yesterday. Our mission is to support the dreamers and the doers in Kandiyohi County. We strive to create a better tomorrow through supporting projects that are community minded with special emphasis on the four focus areas; Health & Wellness, Communication, Inclusion and Engagement.

Vision 2040 is a collaborative, community-led and driven initiative composed of your neighbors, friends and coworkers.

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