On Friday night Swan Hills’ third Drive-In Movie Night brought another great night of family-friendly entertainment to the community. With rain falling earlier that afternoon, there was some worry that the event may have to be cancelled, but fortunately, the weather cleared up for a beautiful evening. It was still overcast, but it was just right for a night at the Drive In.
One huge difference between Friday’s event and the previous two Drive In events was the absence of COVID-related health restrictions. The first year’s event was roughly six months after the start of the pandemic, with restrictions still in place. It was looking like Swan Hills might see a restrictions-free Drive In Movie Night leading up to last year’s event, with a planned fundraising concession to be offered by the Swan Hills Fire Department, but health restrictions went back into effect just prior to the event, necessitating the concession’s cancellation and preventing the use of the bathroom facilities in the Keyano Centre.
This year, Swan Hills was treated to a restriction-free Drive In Movie Night that offered everything one could hope for. Eager moviegoers arrived early to get their vehicles situated for the show while the community’s youth and children ran off their excitement with their friends. Neale Rushoway and Keith Thibodeau from Cardinal Energy had a BBQ unit fired up, offering free hot dogs and bottles of water. Vickie Hickie and Sheri Watson were running a fundraising concession for Swan Hills FCSS inside the Keyano Centre. And to the relief of anyone drinking a little too much pop with their movie snacks, the washrooms in the Keyano Centre were open and available.
The choice of movie (Ghostbusters Afterlife) was a perfect fit, bringing back memories of catching the latest and greatest summer blockbusters at the drive-in, back when drive-in theatres were more popular and numerous.
Thank you, Swan Hills FCSS, the Swan Hills Municipal Library, the Town of Swan Hills, Cardinal Energy, and FreshAir Cinema, for organizing and sponsoring this event. And thank you to all of the volunteers who helped to make this Drive in Movie Night happen.
Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette