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updated: 8/2/2011 1:28 PM

Cars theme marks latest Elgin movie screening

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Cars will fill Festival Park in real life and on screen Thursday as the City of Elgin and the Downtown Neighborhood Association team up for the latest installment of the Family Movie Series, sponsored by the city.

In keeping with the theme of the 2006 Disney and Pixar film "Cars," the DNA will organize the first of several of its summer car events. Redmon's Towing will have an antique tow truck for a real life version of Mater from the film. Jason Pawlowski, promotions coordinator for the DNA, said he hopes to get as many character look-alikes to the car show as possible.

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A cruise night will also be held Aug. 25 that will include a procession through downtown by participating cars.

The main event, though, is the Downtown Elgin Car Show, set for Sept. 10. That show, organized by the DNA, will have a variety of cars represented from antiques to the most modern green technology cars.

"Basically anything on wheels we're inviting to the car show," Pawlowski said.

The City of Elgin hosted two other family movie nights on Thursdays in July with two more planned for August. Each night organizers invite a local nonprofit to sell popcorn and refreshments as a fundraiser -- besides the DNA, the Larkin Center, Youth United Way, Crisis Center and Boys and Girls Club were asked to participate.

Preshow activities are always planned for 7 p.m. with the movies starting at sunset. State Rep. Keith Farnham will also be on hand Thursday, passing out free ice cream to moviegoers.

"Toy Story 3" will be the next feature, showing Aug. 11 at Festival Park with a rescheduled screening of "How to Train Your Dragon" set for Aug. 18. Michelle Hansen, special events coordinator, said there will be inflatables for both movies with characters dressed up and ready to talk to kids before the show starts.

The Classic Movie Series is a new one for the city with various movies scheduled in different parks throughout Elgin on the second Saturday in August and September.

Visit elginartscentral.com for a complete list of city-sponsored events. To get involved with any of the car shows contact Pawlowski at (847) 488-1456 or email jpawlowski@elginil.org.

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