BELOIT - The crowd for the Beloit International Film Festival (BIFF) Outdoors event Saturday were treated to a gentle breeze and an array of prizes and goodies.
BIFF Outdoors hosted the award-winning animated film "Coco" in the Beloit Daily News parking lot, 149 State Street. Co-sponsored by McDonald's and the Beloit Daily News, the event attracted around 80 guests to watch film in the great outdoors.
Traci Martin, who recently moved to Beloit from Florida, came with Victoria Inscore. Inscore said she saw the first BIFF Outdoors movie in Preservation Park and wanted to try another one. Inscore said she wishes there were still outdoor movie theaters, and Martin said she loves the movie "Coco."
"I think it's a fun event to get everyone together watching a movie," Inscore added.
Mackenna Lillard, 9, said she liked "Coco," being outside and getting to color a mask at the Easter Seals table.
The BIFF Outdoors event was a first-of-its-kind partnership offering pre-entertainment for all ages. Visitors were treated to complimentary newspapers, Beloit Snappers tickets and contests. The newspaper also gave out books donated by the School District of Beloit Early Literacy Program.
The first prize winner for the Beloit Daily News Cub Reporter headline contest was Lillith Wagner; second place; Dane Wagner, 11; and third prize, Kaylani Bown, 9. Winners had their choice of a paddleboat package from Rocktown Adventures, tickets to Klehm Arboretum and gift certificates to Glitz & Go.
Kenda Roman won the raffle for the children's birthday party at the Madison Children's Museum.
McDonald's brought kids' games and goodies, and Easter Seals had a table where kids could color their own Day of the Dead mask.
"It's a beautiful night to be out and spread the word about our programs," said Easter Seals Family Support Worker Desarae Stocker.
Greg Gerard, assistant director for BIFF, said the outdoor movie was a success in its new location.
"One of the enjoyable parts of this job is partnering with these great organizations in town like the Beloit Daily News and our friends at McDonald's. It just adds team power to the execution of these events, the payoff for which is an enjoyable and cost-effective evening for families around the community," Gerard said.
"Wow! What a great fun time for all of the families who came out for the outdoor movie! BIFF and the Beloit Daily News are such huge assets to our community and it is great to have the opportunity to bring such an enjoyable event to the Beloit community. We can't wait to see some more spectacular movies around town and we especially can't wait to be a part of the fun again next year," said McDonald's franchise owner Guy Bucciferro III.
"Our team of associates from the paper, particularly Hillary Gavan, Erica Pennington and Clint Wolf, were instrumental in producing a wonderful evening for local movie-goers," said Beloit Daily News Publisher Kent Eymann. "It was our pleasure to host families for the movie, partnering with BIFF and our good neighbor McDonald's. The weather was perfect and people had fun. That's what summer is all about and we're thrilled to be part of it."