Calvert County Fairgrounds hosts drive-in movie series this weekend

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews the Calvert County drive-in (Part 1)

The Calvert County Fairgrounds is hosting a drive-in movie series this weekend, sponsored by Running Hare Vineyard in Prince Frederick.

“We’ve been doing drive-in movies, just trying to adapt to COVID conditions while still providing fun for the community,” vineyard co-owner and Chief Operations Officer Matt Scarborough told WTOP.

The films will be projected on an 18-by-24-foot inflatable screen by Fantasy World Entertainment, and the event will include local food, beer and wine vendors.

The lineup kicks off with “The Wizard of Oz” at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

“We wanted to pick something that would appeal to both adults and kids,” Scarborough said. “It’s sentimental no matter how old you are. If you’re 24 or 74, you remember the first time you saw it. We’re hoping to bring back that memory in a different setting.”

It continues with “The Breakfast Club” at 9:45 p.m. Friday.

“It’s certainly appealing to the demographic that we tend to address with the vineyard,” Scarborough said. “That was the height of the movie industry, in my opinion.”

The second day includes “Ghostbusters” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

“The ‘Ghostbusters’ theme song has certainly been stuck in my head the past couple of weeks,” Scarborough said. “We really pride ourselves on appealing to all ages. People think of a vineyard as just an adult-only experience, but we’re very different than that.”

The series wraps with “Grease” at 9:45 p.m. Saturday.

“It’s a great musical, it’s a classic and John Travolta, you can’t go wrong,” Scarborough said. “For people to sit in a drive-in looking at a film based around a drive-in is neat.”

Gates open at 6 p.m. for the first screening and 8 p.m. for the second screening. Masks are required outside of your vehicle.

Tickets are $35 per car and can be purchased by clicking the movie titles above, and $5 of that is donated to the local charity Pets With Disabilities, Scarborough said.

“We’re very excited to be able to offer this experience for a pretty reasonable cost,” he said. “The only restriction is we don’t allow RVs, but if a family of five comes in a van, that’s perfect.”

Running Hare Vineyard plans to screen more movies at another site at a future date.

“It brings back an era of American cinema that younger people are unfamiliar with and older generations can certainly relate to,” Scarborough said. “It’s really cool for people just to be able to get out of the house. Everybody’s stuck at home on their Zoom call and working at home, so it’s just a good opportunity to have some sense of normalcy.”

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews the Calvert County drive-in (Part 2)

Listen to our full conversation here.

Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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