COMMUNITY: “Monsters” by starlight


Free popcorn and glow sticks. What more could a child want?

Stars and smiles beamed bright Saturday evening at this summer’s Family Outdoor Movie Night, hosted by the Takoma Park Recreation Department.

Ed Wilhelm Field, the semi-isolated field behind Piney Branch Elementary, was draped with blankets, lawn chairs and a strong scent of mosquito spray as over 100 people watched the family friendly hit, “Monster’s University,” outside in the fresh air.


Family Outdoor Movie Night. Photo by Brandi Vincent.

The event began at sunset as children laughed and danced to music before the movie.

Once the sun went down, they enjoyed the free popcorn and glow sticks, courtesy of the Recreation Department.

“I never got a chance to experience a drive-in movie, but it’s the closest thing to that, and the kids get a chance to run around and play, which makes it a great thing to do as a family,” said Emma Williams, who attended the event for the second year in a row.


The Coe-Mullin family settles in to watch the movie.  Photo by Brandi Vincent.

Shannon Coe, who attended with her husband and two children, said she appreciates all of the opportunities that her family has for fun in the community.

“A weekend doesn’t go by without something, if not multiple things, to do,” Coe said.

The movie ended to cheering and applause. Many families said that they look forward to attending another outdoor movie event next summer.


Maria and Morgan Wright with daughters Ella and Lily Wright. Photo by Brandi Vincent.

John Webster, a Recreation Supervisor and one of the organizers of the event, said that it was a collaborative effort that the Department has enjoyed hosting for the community over the past few years.

“It’s so nice to put smiles on people’s faces and see the end products of what we plan,” said Stephany Sulvaran, one of the Department’s Recreation Assistants.

The movie night was the second event this summer. On May 18th, the Department hosted Celebrate Takoma!, which celebrated the cultural diversity of Takoma Park. Over 800 people attended.


Recreation Dept. assistant Stephany Sulvaran hands popcorn to Beatrice Coe-Mullin and her mom Shannon Coe.

This was the only outdoor movie event of the season. Webster said they host a Monster Bash in October and co-host the Takoma Play-Day Committee’s September Family Outdoor Play-Day.

According to Webster, “Play is something everybody can do. It doesn’t matter if you are a football player, a basketball player or a checkers player, we will have all sorts of games and entertainment going on for the community to enjoy.”


Takoma Park Recreation Dept. workers (from left): Ashton Ernst, Stephany Sulvaran, John Webster, and Stephen Bean. Photo by Brandi Vincent.

About the Author

Brandi Vincent
Brandi Vincent is a graduate student in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. She graduated from the Louisiana Scholars’ College at Northwestern State University. There, she studied Liberal Arts, English Literature, and French Language. She grew up in south Louisiana, studied abroad in Nice, France, and is happy to call Maryland her new home.