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Under the stars

DEMOPOLIS — The name was a bit deceiving, but still held true…to an extent.

What was slated to be a Movie Under the Stars turned out to be a movie under the roof of the Theo Ratliff Activity Center.

The event, which was originally slated to be at the City Landing Park, was forced indoors when a late afternoon thunderstorm approached, but while that may have held a few more at home, the spirits of those 370 plus in attendance didn’t seem to be dampened.

“We just came out because it gives the kids, and everybody really, a chance to meet in unity,” said Willie Oliver, who was there with his daughter and niece.

“It’s just nice for us to have a Christian, family-oriented event in town.”

His niece, Myiah Lockett, who had already been to the face-painting booth, said that the face painting was her favorite thing so far, but she was really looking forward to the movie.

Behind all the ruckus surrounding the activity center were two individuals working hard to make everything flow as smoothly as possible: Kelley Tarpley and Morgan Grimes.

Tarpley, who is children’s librarian at the Demopolis Public Library started in March working to put Tuesday night’s event together.

“We decided to get more involved in the community and, in turn, maybe increase circulation for the library,” said Tarpley.

“Last year, SouthernLinc came into town and put this on, but we saw on their schedule that they wouldn’t be stopping here this year. We thought this event would be great to put on, based on last year’s turnout.”

The Movie Under the Stars event costs several thousand dollars to put on and would not have been possible without sponsorship from BankTrust, Rock-Tenn, Foster Farms, Robertson Banking Company, Friends of the Library, Collins Communications, Colony Office Products, Suttles’ Truck Leasing and Two Rivers Best Western.

“We couldn’t have done this without our sponsors,” said Grimes, who serves as librarian.

“We have a great staff at the library who put their all into this. Also, Melvin Yelverton is to be thanked for all his help…including cooking our hotdogs tonight in the rain.”

Tarpley said although a lot of time and energy went into the event’s planning, they do plan to do the same thing next year.

“It was worth it. We’re all just glad that the community came out to support [the event]…even in the rain.”