New holiday tradition growing

Columbia will soon host its third annual Frosted Flick Fest, a winter movie-going event that has quickly become something of a holiday tradition for many.

The event is organized by Dustin Row, who many recognize as the man behind Songs4Soldiers – though Frosted Flick Fest is not connected to that annual benefit concert for combat veterans.

Row, who organizes events through his business EventOPS, LLC, said he came up with the idea for Frosted Flick Fest during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in late 2020.

He said the restrictions on big events during this time led him to consider a film experience with a little extra space between viewers.

“The event, as it is, I came up with it in the fall of 2020 whenever we were all laid off and trying to find work,” Row said, “and the idea of it was and the health department approved me to do it because it was spaced out.”

The core concept behind Frosted Flick Fest is the firepit. For $100, groups can reserve a 20-foot-by-10-foot viewing area for the evening’s movie with  firepit included.

While the event’s spacing originally came out of necessity, Row said the firepit set-up has since proven to be attractive all on its own – not to mention the fact that plenty of room makes smoke from nearby fires less of an issue.

“The spacing and stuff of the firepits was all due to COVID, but what we found was this is a really nice, comfortable event,” Row said. “We kind of stumbled across this, to be honest with you, and every year there’s a million options of things to do with your family around the holidays, but I think people like how close it is and the accessibility and the easiness of it.”

Along with the firepit – which is maintained through the evening by event staff – registration for the event also covers s’mores and hot dog kits, a family photo op with Santa and hot chocolate served by staff wandering the event grounds.

Patrons are invited to bring their own beverages, snacks, lawn chairs and blankets for the evening.

Those looking to attend can register for a 6 p.m. spot Friday, Dec. 9, and Saturday, Dec. 10, to see “Elf” and “Christmas Vacation,” respectively. On Sunday, Dec. 11, “Home Alone” will be shown with gates opening at 4 p.m. so kids can get home on time for the school night.

Row said the event has sold out each night for the last two years, and spaces are already running low for next weekend.

Frosted Flick Fest has seemingly proved quite successful for Row, who said the addition of a new holiday tradition seems to have contributed to the event’s popularity.

He noted that his family has their own traditions each year, going to see the lights at the Anheuser-Busch brewery as well as the “Way of Lights” at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows.

“We kinda have the same things we do every year, and what I didn’t think about was, y’know, maybe people would just wanna come watch ‘Elf’ outside once a year,” Row said. “I guess I didn’t think about how traditional people make their Christmases where they do the same thing every year.”

Row recommended the event for families or friends looking to spend an evening watching a movie.

He added that, given the possibility of people returning to the event from the previous year, it seems several folks in the community have added Frosted Flick Fest to their list of traditions during December.

“People love the holiday traditions, and I think we have created a new one here locally,” Row said.

For more information or to register for the event, visit

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Andrew Unverferth

HTC web