Mokedden, 6, Selected ‘Miss Frozen Palisades’

by Laura Abruscato
Contributing Writer Photos by Lesly Hall

Blankets and sweaters covered children dressed in Olaf suits, Anna dresses and Elsa gowns as they lay on blankets at the Field of Dreams and watched Frozen, the final showing of the Movies in the Park season Aug. 26.

Costumed children received tickets that were drawn from a basket before the film screened, and 10 lucky kids won beanie-baby-sized stuffed Olafs, the popular snowman character from Frozen.

The grand-prize winner, Mikaela Mokedden, 6, wore a blue Elsa gown and tiara, and won a two-foot stuffed Olaf plus the title “Miss Frozen Palisades.” Her Olaf had company as her brother Cato, 5, won a smaller Olaf and was dressed like him as well.

Mikaela Mokeddem was selected “Miss Frozen Palisades.”

Mikaela Mokeddem was selected “Miss Frozen Palisades.”

Grandmother Sharon Simicevic said, “Mikaela loves the sisters [in the movie] because she has a sister.”

Other winners included Sebastian Rood, Hailee Yancey, Zoe Nakamura, Willa Prawer, Lily Abruscato, Sophiann Miller, Payton Chaiet and Ella Rich.

Palisadian Fati Adeli wore a hat to Movies in the Park, warm attire for a chilly night appropriate for Frozen.

“I come every year and every year and I improve it. Next year, I’m bringing chamomile tea,” said the mother of Layla, 11, and Leena, 9. “I love to bring my girls. There’s something special about outdoor movies.”

Everyone dressed up for "Frozen": (left to right) Cleary Herzlinger, Dana Fein (Marquez Elementary 2nd grade teacher) holding granddaughter Rachel and Sumner Fein

Everyone dressed up for “Frozen”: (left to right) Cleary Herzlinger, Dana Fein (Marquez Elementary 2nd grade teacher) holding granddaughter Rachel and Sumner Fein

Before the movie started, children were playing with small blue footballs provided by Santa Monica UCLA Medical Health Center and Orthopaedic Hospital and glow-stick necklaces from the new babysitting app Bambino.

Meanwhile, adults were handed $5 Gelson’s coupons, and two winners received free tickets to the Palisades Woman’s Club Home Tour on Nov. 20. Many attendees enjoyed free hot dogs, sponsored by Mike Skinner, and prepared by Palisades Recreation Center assistants Jeffrey Owens and Ashley Johnston. They served more than 250 hot dogs and ran out of buns.

Johnston enjoyed her first season working at Movies in the Park and is a fan of Frozen.

“I called my sister after I watched it and was crying, saying ‘It’s about sisterly love,’ Johnston said. “The songs from Frozen are forever in everyone’s head.”

Troop 23 Boy Scouts Emmett Kallmeyer and Gregory Gold, both Palisades High School sophomores, were selling drinks and snacks to earn money for their Eagle Scout projects—Kallmeyer plans to build benches and planters for Palisades Presbyterian Church and Gold will build cages for plants at Marquez Elementary.

“Growing up here, I thought something like this would be great to do,” said David Williams, a co-founder of Movies in the Park. “I had seen the movie Doc Hollywood with Michael J. Fox and there was a scene where the community was watching an outdoor silent movie. I thought that would be a blast.

“Our first movie [in 2003] was E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and we were hoping 50 people would show up. Almost 500 came and it’s been this way ever since,” said Williams, who estimates that more than 800 people came for Frozen.

There was a hefty initial investment in a movie screen, projectors and other equipment that was upgraded a few years ago. Williams encourages people to visit the Movies in the Park Facebook page to submit movie ideas. Although the movies are free, donations are greatly appreciated.

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