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Crook, 3, gains a better view of the festivities from the shoulders of his father Matt Crook.

By Ashley Fowler Photographs by Katie Alaimo

Paraders donned their finest Technicolor wigs, capes and other eye-catching garb at the True/False Film Fest’s annual parade — March March.

The annual event is the loudest way to say True/False is here. With hundreds of participants, Ninth Street swelled at its seams making room for the dancing robots, fire dancers and all the smiling kids showing off their True/False bedazzled bikes. Every year the parade (loosely) takes a theme and this year, dozens of tin-foil robots with antennae took the streets telling everyone, “It’s time for the movies!”

“I love a parade anyway,” Diane Oerly says. “But the True/False parade is so very zany and fun and crazy. And tonight I’m here celebrating 10 years of surviving cancer.” The MU Business Technology consultant wore a jester-style tiger hat, sparkly red heart sunglasses and most importantly, she was wearing the metal washboard a friend bought her in Lafeyette, La. so she could be loud.

At this parade, making noise is a necessity. Spectators brought drums, maracas and tambourines to cheer on the march.

Three marching bands seemed to be competing with each other. Who reigned? Hard to tell. The Missouri High Steppers were neatly choreographed to keep tune with the drums as the Hulagans (hula-hooping hooligans) and Burn Circus (the fire dancers) followed, each doing their own thing and even dancing with the bubbles falling from the roof of The Blue Note.

The costumes were loud as well: a rented Elvis, a Marie Antoinette and comedically unconvincing crosswalk guards dressed as wolves were far from the most outrageous costumes. Ronald McDonald turned heads at the parade. Probably because the famous clown costume was altered to look like he was riding an ostrich.

Returning to the parade was the Witzig family. They march in the parade every year. Teagan Witzig, 6, was wearing a pink cape with a “T for Teagan,” a pink mask and pink shoes. What’s her favorite thing about the True/False parade? It’s on her birthday. “Oh, and it’s fun to dress up!” she says.

Before the show, paraders waited at Boone County Courthouse Square in a state of happy chaos before they began their 30-minute journey to Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts. Many Columbians marched in the parade and seemed to peacefully coexist. Some kids were hamming it up, doing “the robot” to the beat of the Missouri drumline while their parents took pictures.

When the time came, the parade crowd dissipated quickly in a rush to get to the Qs before everyone else.

The Como (Roller) Derby dames stuck around to pass out recruiting flyers and Maya “Adderoller” Wallace said that the parade is a good reminder of just how fun Columbia can be.

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