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Local News

Bicentennial Park hosts Oscars party, plans Joliet film fest

Ingrid Schartz glams it up at the 2016 Oscars party held at Billie Limacher Bicentennial Park.
Ingrid Schartz glams it up at the 2016 Oscars party held at Billie Limacher Bicentennial Park.

JOLIET – Billie Limacher Bicentennial Park will bring back an Oscars night party while making plans for its first-ever film fest.

“A Night at the Movies,” a special event that features a big-screen showing of the Oscars handed out that night while attendees are invited to glam it up for the evening, will be March 4 – the night of the Academy Award presentations.

The first such event was held last year, and, “we had a lot of fun,” park director Lori Carmine said.

This year’s event features the new twist of the official press announcement of Bicentennial Park’s film fest, which will be April 29.

Carmine said the idea of a Joliet film fest has been talked about for years. It got it’s final inspiration last summer when the cast of “Singing in the Rain” was preparing a video for the performance.

“With the size of Joliet, the number of people, and the territory around it, there’s no reason we shouldn’t do it,” she said.

Carmine said there is a lot of
local interest in film making, and
she expects to get submissions from people outside the area who want their films shown.

One rule will be to keep the films in the PG-13 rating range, since high-schoolers will be invited to submit, too.

There will be six categories of films: drama, comedy, documentary, animation, musical and phone films. Films produced on phones will be 10 minutes or less.

Films in other categories will be a maximum of 20 minutes.

Carmine said “snippets from the submissions” may be shown at the Oscars party.

The party is 4 to 6 p.m. A $15 admission includes appetizer-style food, and there will be a cash bar.

People don’t have to dress up for the evening, but many did last year. The park will have two contests. One will be for best celebrity impersonator. The other will be for the person best dressed in the style of celebrities who attend the Academy Awards.

Trivia games will be played again during commercial breaks.

The park will be dubbed “Billiewood” for the evening and decorations will feature an eight-foot statue of namesake Billie Limacher.

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