Family Movie Night

Every town has some sort of festival or event that celebrates the town. It brings people in, allows us to celebrate what makes our area wonderful and gives us chance to have fun. Pumpkin Fest is what St. Anne does to invite others in and help us celebrate – us.

 Last week was the Princess Pageant. This week the scarecrows are going up. Saturday is the parade and a whole host of events. There will be fireworks and band playing and vendors. I am looking forward to all of it.

 I love parades. I cry like a baby because I love them that much. It reminds me of going to homecoming parades with my grandparents and schluffing through huge oak leaves that covered the sidewalks.

 For the last few years the parade has gone down my street, which I truly appreciate. All I have to do is drag my chairs to the fairway and enjoy as the floats and marching bands as they come on by. Last year I had to work the day of the parade. So my husband called me on the cell just so I could hear our marching band as they were passing by. It was great.

 One of the challenges I posed for the column this week was to find movies that set themselves smack in the middle of a town festival. I wanted to think of movies that had a festival going for the entire film but few came to mind.

Holly Hunter (center) in Miss Firecracker, picture from

I remembered Miss Firecracker from 1989 starring Holly Hunter as a young woman who wants to leave her small town on a high note and decides to enter the Miss Firecracker beauty contest. The girl is not a knock-out beauty or stunningly talented so her family and friends, including her cousin who has won the contest in the past, are not hopeful in her chances. But what she wants is something more and she sees this contest as a stepping stone out.

 The rating is PG but as this is more adult in context and I would say the movie is better for pre-teens and up.

Picture from

 Then I thought about To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar. This movie is about three drag queens driving out to California. Their car breaks down in a little town that is about to celebrate Strawberry Festival. It is a joyless town that needs to remember what being alive really means. That reminder comes in the form of cross-dressing Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes and John Leguizamo. Stockard Channing plays the housewife most transformed by their appearance.

 This movie has a PG-13 rating but, again, is a bit more adult in context.

Honoring Wilbur at the County Fair in Charlotte's Web, picture from

 If there is something more family friendly that you are looking for, I would suggest Charlotte’s Web. The newest version that stars Julia Roberts as Charlotte and Dakota Fanning as Fern tells the story so well. I know I have cried through it numerous times, especially when Sarah McLachlin sings Ordinary Miracle.  With its “G” rating, this is a movie you can watch with all members of the family and remember just how much fun a county fair can be.

 Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

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