Summer, and the non-existent COVID-canceled summer festival season, may be coming to a close, but at least it's going out with a bang thanks to The Parking Lot Social.
Coming to Wisconsin State Fair Park on Wednesday, Aug. 12 through Sunday, Aug. 16, the touring national drive-in extravaganza will bring several nights of music, movies, comedy and more entertainment – all safely social distanced from the comfort of your car.
Each day features a new collection of events for ages young and old, all hosted across The Parking Lot Social's covered stage and two 40-foot screens (along with decor like two inflatable giant gorillas and a 52-foot-tall sunglasses-wearing fire hydrant that shoots out rainbows).
Here's the current line-up of entertainment for their Milwaukee stop:
Wednesday, Aug. 12
- Parking LOL Comedy Night, featuring local stand-up comedians (material aimed for crowds ages 18 and up)
Thursday, Aug. 13
- 9 p.m. – Neon '80s Movie Night, featuring the 1989 blockbuster sequel "Back to the Future Part II" protected on The Parking Lot Social's two 40-foot screens, plus a DJ playing a pre-show of throwback classics directly into your car's stereo to get you in the blast-to-the-past mood. (To complete the atmosphere, in-theme costumes are encouraged.)
Friday, Aug. 14
- 8:30-11 p.m. – The Parking Lot Social, aka the main event (as you'd expect considering the entire weekend is named after it) featuring a collection of party games and entertainment options including Car-a-oke, Boom Boom Bingo, silent disco DJ battles, trivia games, live band performances and more.
- 11:30 p.m. – The Midnight Meet-Up, a late-night movie screening of 2001's blockbuster "The Fast and the Furious"
Saturday, Aug. 15
- 1-3 p.m. – Social Kids, a kid-friendly version of The Parking Lot Social featuring live band Car-a-oke, a trivia contest for the whole family, bingo, boy versus girl/parents versus kids silent disco battles and more
- 8:30-11 p.m. – The Parking Lot Social, round two, featuring another batch of Car-a-oke, Boom Boom Bingo, silent disco DJ battles, trivia and more
- Midnight – The Parking Lot Social will present a midnight movie, the popular 2013 horror/thriller "The Purge" in the case of its Milwaukee stop. Live DJs will provide the pre-show entertainment before scares light up the event's two screens
Sunday, Aug. 16
- 1-3 p.m. – Social Kids, a second day of the kid-friendly version of the featured event including live band Car-a-oke, a trivia contest for the whole family, bingo, boy versus girl/parents versus kids silent disco battles and more
- 9 p.m. – Family Movie Night, closing out the five-day party with a screening of the sing-along classic "Grease" with live DJs providing pre-show entertainment
In addition to being a car-centric event, The Parking Lot Social will follow social distancing guidelines across the long weekend, including exclusively contact-free ticket purchasing, hand sanitization stations across the grounds for those who have to leave their car for any reason, and social distanced lines for bathrooms and food vendors.
Attendees buy tickets for an individual session, with one ticket covering one carload for a night and tickets (regular and VIP options) ranging from $29-$59. For more information on tickets, visit the event's website.
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.