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Drive-in movie bonanza is this weekend

BBQ Fest tries something new this year

A drive-in screening of “Happy Gilmore,” starring Adam Sandler, is seen June 13 at the North Elba Show Grounds in Lake Placid, with the 1980 Winter Olympic cauldron in the background. (Enterprise photo — Andy Flynn)

LAKE PLACID — This year’s I Love BBQ and Music Festival will go on. But instead of the Fourth of July weekend at the Olympic Speedskating Oval, it will be held Labor Day weekend — this weekend — at the North Elba Show Grounds. And there won’t be any barbecue or music.

“Actually some of the movies will have a lot of music,” said Dmitry Feld, organizer of the I Love BBQ and Music Festival. “That includes ‘The Blues Brothers’ and ‘School of Rock.'”

This year’s “reimagined” barbecue festival will be a drive-in movie festival, with three days of double features. It’s called the Casella Drive-In Movie Festival, to be held on Friday through Sunday at the horse show grounds on Route 73 (5514 Cascade Road).

The movie lineup is as follows:

¯ Friday, Sept. 4: “Minions” and “The Blues Brothers”

¯ Saturday, Sept. 5: “School of Rock” and “Instant Family”

¯ Sunday, Sept. 6: “Shrek” and “Jurassic Park.”

Movies begin each night at 8 p.m.; gates open at 6:30 p.m.

The admission is a donation of $10 per person or $25 for a full vehicle.

The I Love BBQ and Music Festival is organized every year by USA Luge, the Olympic sports team based in Lake Placid. Feld is the marketing manager at USA Luge, and he is on the board of directors at the Shipman Youth Center.

The festival is an annual fundraiser for the youth center, contributing about a third of the facility’s budget. Therefore, coming up with an alternative benefit was needed, according to Feld.

“We are very excited and proud that Casella and other sponsors from Lake Placid and outside Lake Placid came to assist us with this event because the goal is, of course, to raise needed money for the Shipman Youth Center,” Feld said.

The I Love BBQ and Music Festival suffered the fate of all the other major events in the Lake Placid region this summer, as they were canceled over safety issues and New York state health mandates amid the coronavirus pandemic.

And with movie theaters such as the Palace Theatre in Lake Placid still shuttered, one of the only entertainment options has been pop-up drive-in movies around the region organized by Eric Wilson and Good Guy Productions, who will put on the Labor Day weekend double-feature festival.

“We feel the community in general needs some kind of fun,” Feld said. “We love our mountains and lakes and ski jumps, but barbecue was one of those events that brought everybody together for music, fun, good food. So this event, we hope, will bring our community and visitors (together).”

On June 12, Good Guy Productions hosted a drive-in movie at the North Elba Show Grounds featuring “Happy Gilmore,” with donations going to the Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department. The screen was placed in front of the 1980 Olympic cauldron. There will be two screens set up on Labor Day weekend.

COVID-19 restrictions will be in place for the three nights, including marked parking locations. Masks are required for everyone, and movie-goers must remain in their vehicles at all times unless using the restrooms.

There will be a raffle with 11 cash prizes. A limited number of tickets will be sold, with a top prize of $3,000. To take part, log onto www.shipmanyouthcenter.org and click on the “Donate” button.

The first 100 guests each night will be given free packaged snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, hand sanitizer and masks.

As for the barbecue or other food, movie-goers will have to bring their own, either from home or as take-out from one of the many restaurants in Lake Placid. It may be an ideal night for dinner and a movie in the car or the bed of a pickup truck.

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