Free ‘Movies in the Park’ back after two-year hiatus due to COVID-19

The streets were lined were spectators during the 2019 Memorial Day Parade in Middletown. This year's parade is set for May 30. SUBMITTED PHOTO

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The streets were lined were spectators during the 2019 Memorial Day Parade in Middletown. This year's parade is set for May 30. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Parades set for Memorial Day, July 4 in downtown Middletown.

Two Middletown staples, holiday parades and free summer movies, are returning this year thanks to an army of volunteers and community sponsors.

Jeri Lewis, organizer of the events, made a presentation at last week’s City Council meeting, and members thanked her and the volunteers for their continued efforts.

The Memorial Day Parade kicks off at 10 a.m. May 30 from Smith Park, travels down Verity Parkway and ends at Woodside Cemetery where a ceremony will be held. Kenneth Baldwin, a Vietnam veteran who retired from AK Steel after 33 years, has been selected to serve as grand marshal.

Lewis called him “a perfect fit” for the honor.

Lewis showed council members pictures of previous parades with the streets lined with families.

“That’s what small town America should look like,” she told council. “Building relationships with each other.”

On May 28, Lewis said, volunteers from several organizations will place flags on the graves of every veteran buried at Woodside. She said that effort shows “truly what Memorial Day is about.”

The July 4th Parade will be held July 4 and starts at 10 a.m. at Smith Park and ends at Woodside. This year’s theme is “Middletown through the Decades,” and participates are encouraged to dress up in decade appropriate costumes, Lewis said.

She said the floats are judged and the winners receive trophies.

The “Movies in the Park” will be held on Saturday nights instead of the normal Friday nights throughout the summer and fall, Lewis said. The movies start on June 11 and end on Oct. 15. The movies start at 9 p.m. and family activities start around 7 p.m.

The free snacks are provided by local churches. That way, Lewis said, parents have “no reason not to come” and bring their children.

This is the first year for the movies since 2019 due to COVID-19, she said.


MOVIES IN THE PARK

June 11, Downtown: Disney’s Encanto

June 25, St. John’s Festival: Spider-Man No Way Home

July 9, Downtown: Disney’s Rava

July 23, Sunset Park: Dear Evan Hansen

Aug. 13, Downtown: Syng 2

Sept. 17, Damon Park: Steps

Oct. 15, Towne Mall: Ghostbusters II After Life

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