By Olga Pena
Killeen Daily Herald
Dancing, snuggling, laughing and singing are some of the sights and sounds filling the night air near the Killeen Community Center this summer.
On the first Friday of the new Movies at Your Park series, the Killeen Amphitheater was packed with movie watchers toting blankets, chairs and snacks.
Friends mingled, families played and couples cuddled as the large crowd scattered to find the best seat (patch of grass) in the house.
As the opening credits of "Bee Movie" began rolling, the crowd cheered, thrilled that the sun had gone to bed and the giant screen's light now filled the night darkness.
Sponsored by Time Warner Cable, Movies in Your Park is a free event open to the public by Killeen Parks and Recreation.
"The partnership with Time Warner Cable allows our department to offer quality-of-life opportunities to our community at little or no cost to the participant," said Megian Douglass, Killeen recreation superintendent.
This is the first year Killeen Parks and Recreation has offered the movies as a series, Douglass said.
Douglass explained that the movies were peeked to spark the interest of various groups.
"For instance, 'Bee Movie' and 'The Wizard of Oz' are family movies; 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' is a classic movie. 'Hitch' was chosen as a 'date night' movie," Douglass said. "There is something for everyone to enjoy."
The recreation superintendent was excited following the premier night showing of "Bee Movie."
"We were very impressed with the turnout and delighted that we could offer an activity that so many wanted to take part in," Douglass said.
The Hot Summer Nights Outdoor Concert Series is another free activity that the Killeen Parks and Recreation department is offering to the public with the sponsorship of Time Warner Cable.
The series has been offered since 1994.
"The bands chosen this year have a different sound and not classified into one specific genre.
Each band has a great overall sound," Douglass said.
The second band performing in the concert series takes the stage tonight. Beginning at 8 p.m., the indie label band nelo will entertain the audience. On its Web site, the band references its unique sound and ability to gain an audience the "old-fashioned" way.
"In today's pop culture world, in which music 'idols' are auditioned, judged, anointed and frequently forgotten within the span of a few months while even 'underground' acts can stir up buzz overnight on the blogosphere, the notion of a band building an audience by actually working its tail off seems positively antiquated. So go ahead and call Austin's nelo (rhymes with 'hello') just a little bit old-fashioned. Long before nelo and producer Freddy Fletcher put the finishing touches on the band's self-titled debut album, songwriter/acoustic guitarist Matt Ragland and the rest of his crew were already seasoned road veterans accustomed to playing to packed crowds across Texas," the Web site states.
Both series this summer have other offerings such as bounce houses and a smattering of munchies.
Douglass said food vendors Chick-fil-A, Fuddruckers and Mama Soul's Catering have been allowed by Parks and Recreation to offer an assortment of meals during the summer events.
"We are excited that we can offer an event every Friday night for all to enjoy," Douglass said. "The Hot Summer Nights Outdoor Concert Series or Movies in Your Park to Kidsville on Aug. 9. We have the community covered for the summertime."
Contact Olga Peña at firstname.lastname@example.org or 501-7555.
Movies In Your Park
Bring a blanket and/or a lawn chair and come early for a great seat. Movies will begin around 8:15 or 8:30 p.m.
July 11 – Breakfast at Tiffany's
July 25 – Hitch
Aug. 8 – The Wizard of Oz
Hot Summer Nights Outdoor Concert Series
The evening will include great music, don't forget a blanket to sit on or your own lawn chairs. We will have food and beverages available to purchase so come early and have a picnic prior to the music beginning.
All concerts will begin at 8 p.m. No alcohol is permitted. If it rains, the concert will move inside the Killeen Community Center.
Today – nelo
July 18 – Asida Soul
Aug. 1 – Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights