A gruesome sight will soon take place in downtown Georgetown, but all for a good cause as creatures of the night take to the street to collect donations for the AMEN House.
Thrilled to Give, a popular Halloween community dance and parade, is slated for Oct. 22 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. In the event of rainy weather, the dance will take place the following day on Oct. 23.
Veronica Carpenter, assistant director of the Parks and Recreation Dance and Gymnastics group (PRDG), said Artie Janow and her daughter, Kristin Santionagro, started the electric zombie parade and community dance 11 years ago. She added the two wanted to create a community program where PRDG students could collect canned goods and donations for an organization in Georgetown.
“We asked for people to bring canned goods or a monetary donation down to Main Street, and we give those proceeds to the AMEN House,” Carpenter said.
But an undead shuffle isn’t all the event offers the community, she said. The night is also filled with a community dance, trivia questions where contestants can win prizes and a costume contest. Carpenter said children can join in on the fun, especially as the community dances along to “Purple People Eater.”
“We do have a new dance crew coming with us. They do special needs kids, and so we wanted to incorporate them with us this year. It’s sometimes hard for places to service children with special needs, but they do a fantastic job,” she said. “We invite community members, and we have already gotten most of those, but we have surprise guests and community members throughout Georgetown that will serve as our costume judges.”
After the contest, the zombies will take a family photo with Michael Jackson, portrayed by Evan Bentley, and his girlfriend, Ola, who is being played by Madison Lumpkins. Carpenter said the couple will emerge from a pretend movie theater, performing a seven-minute segment that leads up to the zombies’ awakening from their crypt. The group then leads the dance four times down Main Street. Bill Hamby will also perform Vincent Price’s “Thriller” monologue from the Halloween-favorite.
“We have a wonderful time, and we will have a little bit of DJing and music and stuff going on so the community can dance with us. We always have a large support from the community. We’re very blessed by that,” she said, remembering the first Thrilled to Give event she helped with 11 years ago.
There are two practices left for those hungry for more, she said. Locals can sign up for Zombie Dance School by calling the Pavilion at 502-863-7865, with the last two practices taking place Oct. 16 at 4:30 p.m. and Oct. 18 at 6:30 p.m.
“This is for adults and kids, if kids want to do it, they just have to have an adult with them. You can’t believe how many have taken videos, how many have uploaded on YouTube, and it’s just amazing,” she said.
Carpenter said it’s sure to be a fright-tastic night as those in Georgetown celebrate Halloween.