MILTON, Ga. — Just over a year ago, the city’s economic development department announced it would be rolling out Meet Me in Milton, a schedule of events to take place each spring and summer in downtown Crabapple. The gatherings, described as family-friendly block parties, were meant to be a shot in the arm for the city’s local businesses and attract buyers from the region. They could also foster a sense of community among residents and make Milton a destination for those wanting a night on the town. 

Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic brought those plans to a screeching halt.

While the city did host a kickoff event for Meet Me in Milton last October, plans for a cornhole tournament, chili cookoff, UGA tailgate party and other events originally slated for around this time of year were all nixed.

However, the city has decided to forge ahead and will host a movie on the Green in downtown Crabapple, adjacent to Crabapple Market and City Hall, Oct. 17. Live music from student musicians Bach to Rock will kick off the evening at 5 p.m. with a screening of the Jack Black film “School of Rock” at dusk. Food and drink vendors will also be on site.

“Movies on the Green have been successful for Crabapple Market, with no negative feedback of having gatherings on the Green,” said Milton Economic Development Director Sarah LaDart. “We thought it would be something the community was open to and a great way to at least have an event for Meet Me in Milton.”

Because the program was never truly established, LaDart said one reason for the movie screening is to keep the Meet Me in Milton “brand” alive. 

Though the event will bring people together amid the coronavirus pandemic, LaDart said the city will encourage ways to continue social distancing.

“The thought is people will come with a blanket and sit together as a family unit,” she said. “We are also encouraging people to order meals in advance…instead of standing in long lines and congregating. We are trying to make it an event where people are still a little bit apart from one another.”

While Milton has hosted a modest number of outdoor gatherings since the onset of the pandemic, its slate of annual events has been slashed. In February, organizers of the Rock for Rescues festival, which Milton hosted in 2018 and 2019, announced they were moving the benefit event to Woodstock.

Milton’s largest annual event, Crabapple Fest, was originally scheduled for Oct. 3 but has been deferred until next spring.

The city does still plan to hold its annual Carvin’ in Crabapple event Oct. 25 at the Broadwell Pavilion in downtown Crabapple.

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