City Prepares for True/False Crowds
COLUMBIA - Volunteers for the True/False Film Festival spent Wednesday morning stuffing envelopes with tickets and setting up various venues around Columbia. More than two dozen volunteers lugged risers, placed chairs and raised the projection screen inside the Forrest Theater in the Tiger Hotel. But volunteers weren't the only ones preparing for big crowds this weekend.
Around the block from the Tiger Hotel at Sparky's Homemade Ice Cream, employees busily made new batches of ice cream in advance for the crowds of people True/False brings to downtown. While the changing temperatures may slow business a bit, Sparky's employees say they will be making new batches of ice cream each night to keep up with demand.
True/False officials predict record crowds at this year's festival, as they've sold more tickets at this point than in past years. The films will be presented at 11 venues across downtown Columbia, with the first shows starting Thursday afternoon and continuing through Sunday.
"This is our first big weekend of the year," Tony Layson, Manager of Sparky's said. "Hopefully the weather keeps getting nicer and the big crowds for True/False brings us some business."
Layson, along with working at Sparky's, works throughout the festival as a projectionist.
"I basically work 18 hour days throughout the festival. I wake up at 8 am and work the festival until the afternoon, then I come here and make ice cream until as late as 3 am," he said.
And many others like him are sacrificing to help make the festival happen.
"I'm from Rolla, Missouri, but I came to the first festival and was so blown away by the films that now I come back every year to volunteer," said David Dunstedter.
In all 717 people volunteered to make this year's festival happen.