The Grove City Area Chamber of Commerce is planning a “beautiful day in the neighborhood” with a drive-in movie and meal.
“We wanted to offer something for the community,” said Beth Black, executive director of the chamber.
Drive-In and Dine Out is set for 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, at the Grove City High School practice field. It takes the place of the chamber’s annual Foodie Fest, which benefits the chamber and is typically held the third Saturday in September at Grove City Memorial Park.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Black and the chamber’s board of directors knew that it wouldn’t be feasible to hold the buffet-style food festival in a safe manner.
“It would be very difficult to space people out,” said.
Organizers knew they still wanted to host some version of the annual event and support area businesses, and they are looking forward to Saturday night.
Patrons will be able to enjoy a variety of food from local restaurants while watching “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” drive-in style on the field.
“We’re excited to be able to be bringing Mister Rogers to our neighborhood,” Black said, referring to the film, which stars Tom Hanks as the beloved children’s television show host.
Admission payments will be taken at entrance to the field. It is $10 for ages 13 and up; $5 for ages 3 to 12; and free for 2 and under. That includes the movie and a pre-packaged meal from some businesses that have been part of the Foodie Fest in years past.
Motorists are asked to enter the practice field area using the Stowe Street entrance off of Greenwood Drive. Do not park at Forker Field.
After paying the admission fee, patrons will be directed to a designated parking spot facing the movie screen, which measures 19 by 16 feet.
Chamber board members will then deliver the meals to each vehicle. Patrons can eat inside their vehicles or set up lawn chairs, making sure to practice social distancing, Black said.
Attendees are expected to wear face masks in common areas and in spots where they are less than 6 feet from someone who is not part of their household.
So far, each meal is expected to include food from these chamber members: pulled pork sandwich from Blackout Burger Bar; nachos from Independent Taco; baked beans from County Market Café; breadsticks from Coffaro’s Pizza; baklava from Main Street Diner; Munchkins from Dunkin’; and chocolate from Shannon’s Kandy Kitchen.
Fox’s Pizza Den is providing plastic-sealed silverware and napkins. Water, pop and popcorn will be sold; outside food and drinks are not permitted.
There will be a tip jar for those wishing to give something back to participating restaurants, which Black said have been having a difficult time during the pandemic.
Chamber board members will be working out of the concession stand. Restrooms will be open to patrons.
The movie, which is rated PG and runs 109 minutes, will start at dusk. Armstrong, which is sponsoring the event along with Image FX, is in charge of the movie screen, sound system and the film licensing, Black said.
Many still celebrate the life of Pittsburgh-area native Fred Rogers, and the board chose the movie because of its message about the importance of kindness, she added.
The film is described as “a timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. After a jaded magazine writer is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about kindness, love and forgiveness from America’s most beloved neighbor.”
“Everybody has a warm spot for Mister Rogers,” Black said.
For more information or to inquire about admission for large groups, visit “Grove City Area Chamber of Commerce” on Facebook, or call the chamber at 724-458-6410 or email info@shopgrovecity