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8th Annual District 1 Music and Movie Festival Brought Out the Best in Wholesome Family Fun and Entertainment

“Get up out of those chairs and have a good time tonight,” Councilor Lashunda Scales said to the several hundred people gathered at the 8th Annual District 1 Movie and Music Festival held at Huffman High School on Friday.

The foreboding rain clouds didn’t dampen the spirits of those who came out to enjoy the festivities. Many people got up and danced as Sherri B. and the Precision Band played hits ranging from Rihanna to The Notorious B.I.G to Roberta Flack. Others could be seen swaying back in forth in their folding chairs as the rain clouds parted, making way for a welcomed sunset.

“This started as a showing of movies in the parking lot,” Scales said over the music. “We saw other cities doing things like this and decided we needed to bring this to our community. We wanted to be able to bring families together so we have the music and also the slides and play area for the kids to enjoy as well.”

Behind her, children scampered up a tall water slide that resembled a cresting wave before making their way, many of them headfirst, to the bottom. The idea of bringing families together, Scales said, is what drove her to want to start the event eight years ago.

Not all the children could be confined by the allure of waterslides and bouncy houses; plenty of children came to the stage to enjoy the music and dance and chow down on hot dogs. Periodically, a plane would pass overhead making their final descent to the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport just down the road from the festival.

Cathy Vinziant was seated in a folding chair next to her daughter. Both were cooling down with a portable fan while listening to the music on the late summer evening. “This is our first time coming to this,” Vinziant said. “This should happen all the time! We saw the flyer and decided to come out… We need to make this a weekly thing. But if not, we’ll definitely be back next year.”

Several dozen football players from Huffman High School made their way over from the school (appearing to have just come from practice) and lined up to get the complimentary hot dogs and popcorn that were being served to attendees.

Barbara and Thomas Lewis got a kick out of the group of young men grazing on the free food. They were sitting in the back of their SUV, the hatch open, listening and watching the crowd. They had forgotten their chairs. “We didn’t want to miss out,” Barbara said, chuckling a bit. It was also their first time coming to the event. “This is just a great, free event,” Thomas said, leaning back a bit. Barbara works the night shift for the United States Postal Service and said she has been wanting to come to the festival over the years. “I’m going to have to take this night off again next year,” she said as she bobbed her head to the rhythm of the evening.

The District 1 Music and Movie Festival was sponsored by Northeast YMCA, the Birmingham Zoo and Jefferson State Community College.

This article is a contribution from Cody Owens (cody.owens@birminghamal.gov) in the Birmingham City Council Public Information Office. For more information please contact 205.254.2294.