Sounds of movies, bands filling summer air at Gahanna's Headley Park

MARLA K. KUHLMAN
mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com
Vehicles fill the parking lot with people interested in watching Pretty Filth, a 1980s cover band, perform at Gahanna's Summer Drive-In Series on July 24 at Headley Park.

Fans of movies and music can enjoy a flick and some songs on alternating Friday nights at Headley Park, 1031 Challis Springs Drive, as part of the Gahanna Summer Drive-In Series.

Presented by Gahanna Parks & Recreation, concert nights run from 7 to 9 p.m. and movie nights from 9 to 11 p.m., with advanced registration required at gahannasummerdrivein.eventbrite.com.

Zac Guthrie, Gahanna parks and community-services supervisor, said the events team began making plans for drive-in movies in April.

"We anticipated they would be a fun summer activity for Gahanna families to enjoy, even with social distancing precautions in place," he said. "As summer approached and event cancellations occurred, we shifted our strategy for events to be what is now the Gahanna Summer Drive-in Series."

The cost is $5 per car.

Guthrie said the goal is to offer traditional live entertainment in a way that is safe yet still has a summer look and feel.

"The response to the drive-in series has been fantastic, with several events having sold out and limited tickets for a couple of the dates in August," he said.

Guthrie said planning is underway for drive-in events in the fall, including new entertainment options and additional locations.

Carrin Wester, Gahanna's communications manager, said vehicles are spaced out in every other parking space at the park to observe proper social distancing as a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

"Most of these events have had to be capped at around 90 cars," she said. "We're looking at other venues moving into the fall for more space."

She said the city also featured two Columbus Crew Soccer Club telecasts at Headley Park. One on July 28 brought fans in 55 cars, and the first one July 21 was a sellout, Wester said.

The remaining summer drive-in events include:

* Aug. 7 -- 9 p.m., screening of the movie "Onward." The film follows two elf brothers on a quest to find an artifact that will bring back their deceased father.

* Aug. 14 -- 7 p.m., concert by FLIPPO, featuring 1970s music.

* Aug. 21 -- 9 p.m., screening of "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle." The fantasy adventure comedy was released in 2017.

* Aug. 28 -- 7 p.m., Pop Gun concert, featuring classic rock and pop.

Wester said the city is working with other potential groups to expand offerings including ProMusica Orchestra and Pinnell Dance Studio.

Parking is available one hour prior to the start of each event.

Food and beverages will be available for purchase at concession stands and food trucks, according to gahanna.gov.

Some food trucks are set up for online ordering to avoid waits outside in lines. Go to streetfoodfinder.com/DRIVE-IN for options.

Attendees are invited to bring their own food and drink, but no alcohol is permitted.

Restrooms will be open and will be cleaned regularly throughout the movies and concerts.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla