Sources: The Times Tribute | Edited By All Things Michael
As Vincent Price once growled, “No mere mortal can resist the evil of the thriller.”
Those words will come to life on Saturday, when tens of thousands across the globe attempt to break the world record for the largest simultaneous dance to Michael Jackson’s spooky No. 1 hit, “Thriller.”
The Electric City will join the global event, called “Thrill the World,” at Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, which will host a special afternoon of activities that invites area residents to be part of the phenomenon.
Doors open at 4 p.m. for registration and a couple of run-throughs of the routine before the official flash mob starts at 5. Pre-registration is available and team fundraising pages can be shared from http://www.thrillscranton.com.
Before the dance takes place, attendees can enjoy children’s activities such as face painting and pumpkin decorating, plus an ice cream truck will be on hand and other foods, including hot dogs and popcorn, will be for sale. There will be a beer garden and cash bar for adults.
In-house choreographer Cristina Sohns Williams has been working with a core group of about 30 dancer-volunteers, who met for lessons in the weeks leading up to the event. On Saturday, the block of North Washington Avenue between Vine and Mulberry streets will be closed for the group dance.
Andy Kurilla, instructor of digital technology at Lackawanna College, with help from some students, will film the event, to be uploaded to the official global website.
The video must be a still shot, with zero panning in or out, so that coordinators can complete a head count to add to the official worldwide count, according to Emily Hibbs, development manager for SCC and the event organizer.
“It’s happening, I think, in 200 places around the world,” Miss Hibbs explained. “We’re aiming to get about 500 participants.
“Everyone we talked to thought it was just the coolest idea,” she said.
A $25 registration fee includes the dance lessons and T-shirts while supplies last. Students can sign up for $15. Additionally, Joyce, Jackman & Bell Insurors is offering “zombie insurance” to folks who want to be part of the event but who aren’t into dancing. It allows supporters to make a donation to the cultural center for $30, which gives them access to T-shirts and the flash mob event, as well as the zombie crawl, scheduled to pick up immediately where the dance leaves off.
“We’ve partnered with a number of downtown businesses who will offer specials to zombie dancers,” Miss Hibbs said. Guests will receive maps listing participating vendors and specials they’ll offer.
While participants are encouraged to dress like the undead, Miss Hibbs said it’s not necessary to be part of the zombie crowd.
“We want everyone to be comfortable,” she said.
All proceeds from the event will be used for youth programming and the Matthew Flynn Memorial Scholarship. Donations can be made directly by visiting http://www.sccmt.org.
Despite the ghoulish nature of it all, “Thrill the World” is a fun activity for anyone and everyone, Miss Hibbs said.
“The beauty of the event is it’s really open to all ages,” she noted. “We have some little peanuts that are 6 years old and grandmas.
“It’s something you can bring the whole family out and do together,” Miss Hibbs said.
Contact the writer: pwilding@times shamrock.com, @pwilding on Twitter
If you go
What: Thrill the World, a Worldwide “Thriller” Flash-Mob
When: Saturday, 4 to 5:30 p.m.
Where: Registration and activities take place at Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave. The block of North Washington Avenue between Mulberry and Vine streets will be closed for the crowd dance.
Details: Registration is $25 per person/$15 for students. For more information or to pre-register online, visit http://www.thrillscranton.com. Donations to the Matthew Flynn Memorial Scholarship can be made by visiting http://www.sccmt.org. For more information, call 570-346-7369.
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