First Frosted Flick Fest set

Dustin Row is looking to start a new Monroe County Christmas tradition this year with his inaugural Frosted Flick Fest set to take place next weekend. 

“It’s a small-town, family feel event,” Row said. “The cool thing is it’s not a COVID one-off. I fully plan to do this every year. With less restrictions, I can make a very cool Christmas event out of it.” 

The event, which is Dec. 4-5 in the Columbia American Legion Post 581 parking lot, involves outdoor screenings of holiday classics “Elf” and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” 

At the event, a group of up to six people will be able to park their vehicle in a 20-foot-by-10-foot viewing cell with the next closest group 12 feet away to watch the movies. 

Each cell will have a fire pit maintained by event personnel, a s’mores/hot dog kit, roasting sticks and one complimentary hot chocolate per guest. 

In addition, there will be a complimentary holiday photo that groups can take with a North Pole theme. The picture will be emailed to each group. 

The movies themselves will be played on two LED video walls that are roughly 12 feet tall and 14 feet wide provided by the Mandy McGuire Real Estate Group. 

Row said he got the idea for the event at the Monroe County Tailgate Fest when he used the screens to project the concert for those parked farther away than others. 

“I just thought it was a cool idea to give families to do this year,” Row said, noting this event is not affiliated with Row’s nonprofit, Songs4Soldiers, whatsoever. 

Once he had the idea for the event, Row leaned on his own experience as a father to determine what movies he wanted to show. 

“I thought it was the perfect blend. With ‘Elf,’ it’s an entertaining movie that kids can enjoy and can keep adults intrigued,” he explained. “Then, with ‘Christmas Vacation,’ it’s a little more on the racy side, but I just thought it’s overall a clean movie. In my opinion, those are probably the two most entertaining (Christmas movies) out there.” 

With his plans in place, Row got approval from the Monroe County Health Department.

Row noted he has doubled the recommended distance between cells at the event because of the rise in coronavirus cases in the region. Social distancing will likewise be observed at the spaced-out portable toilets and concession stands, and each patron will supply information to be used for contact tracing if needed.  

Row said he hopes safety features combined with the entertainment options will make this event a new community favorite.

“My favorite thing to do in Columbia and Waterloo every year is the holiday parades. I just think it’s such a cool community event,” he said. “I just want to piggyback off of those things because I think this could turn into a great, annual tradition.” 

The screening of “Elf” is Dec. 4, while “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” will be screened on Dec. 5. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. with the movie starting at 7 p.m.

For more details or to purchase tickets, which cost $100 for a regular cell or $125 for a close-up, premium cell, search 1st Annual Frosted Flick Fest presented by Weber Chevrolet on Facebook. 

There are a limited number of tickets still available.

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James Moss

James is an alumni of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where he graduated summa cum laude with degrees in mass communications and applied communications studies. While in school, he interned at two newspapers and worked at a local grocery store to pay for his education. When not working for the Republic-Times, he enjoys watching movies, reading, playing video games and spending time with his friends.
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