With a goal of providing an opportunity for at least “one good summer memory” for 2020 Carter County Fair Board members and volunteers will begin a series of drive-in movies at the fairgrounds near Grayson as the sun sets Friday, July 17.
“Films At The Fairgrounds” begins with a showing of The Lion King, and continues July 24 with Avengers Endgame on the big screen. Children five and under will be admitted free of charge, with all others gaining admission for $5 each.
“I think the fair board is reacting to a need to do something that allows social distancing but also allows community involvement at the same time – one thing that can really do that is a drive-in movie,” board member Jill York said, adding initial news of the drive-in plan was quite well received on the Carter County Fair’s Facebook page.
The volunteer crew has done a “dress rehearsal” with an inflatable 40-foot screen and radio transmitter system, reporting plenty of space for people to find a good view.
“It worked so good! We took cars and backed them up and drove around … There’s nothing in your way – a lot of good areas and good sight lines,” York said, estimating prime viewing for “a couple of hundred cars even with social distancing.”
There will be a concession stand with “simple, wrapped foods, dogs and burgers” served with strict adherence to social distancing and other rules.
“There will be popcorn!”
“We would like this difficult time we’re in with Covid-19 to have at least one great memory of something new, fun and ‘wow’ we were able to do this summer. We should have one good summer memory.
Once a standard in America’s entertainment options, the local drive-in movies will provide a first opportunity for younger generations to experience the format. Unlike the often-social drive-ins of the past, however, the local film experience will require modern considerations including “skip parking” and designated areas for family members who want to sit outside.
People will be allowed to sit in front of their cars, but not beside or in between, as part of the social distancing measures.
“With skip parking you use a space and leave a space, and you don’t get to spill out into that space. You can set up in front of your car,” York said, adding things like lawn chairs and blankets will likely be good to bring along.
Gates open at 8 p.m.
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