CLOVERDALE — Do your best to look your worst.
Those are words of wisdom for would-be participants at an event at Cloverdale Youth Park this coming Saturday afternoon (Oct. 24).
Zombies of various shapes, sizes and levels of decay are sought for another Thrill the World gathering at the skate park, which played host to a similar, inaugural event last October.
Around the world at the same time, people put on makeup, dress accordingly and dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” just like the actors in his hit music video from the early-1980s.
It’s not just a kind of zombie zumba class, it’s a fundraiser for Surrey Food Bank. Those wanting to get involved are encouraged to make a suggested minimum $10 donation to the food bank. Spectators are also asked to make donations of cash and/or non-perishable food items.
As a world-record attempt, the first Thrill the World event was held in Toronto in 2006. Three years later, the zombie dance-off had grown in popularity to involve 23,000 participants at 400-plus locations around the world.
The second annual gathering in Cloverdale aims to build on last year’s group event, when a few dozen undead dancers stepped up for Thrill the World Surrey.
Nicole Whitney, a founding member of the Surrey group, says it’s a lot of fun. She launched the event in Surrey with Natalie Binns and Charlotte Barlow, who dresses the part of Michael each year.
“We used to go to the event downtown and wanted to try it out here,” Whitney said.
“It’s very exciting to be involved in something like this, for a good cause. It’s a great song and a tribute to an amazing artist.”
Best of all, she said, participants don’t have to show up knowing all the dance steps.
“You can learn a few of the moves beforehand (at the site), just come be part of it. Dress up as a zombie and dance.”
The goal of TTW is unity, philanthropy, and fun, according to the Surrey group’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/thrilltheworldsurrey). The group posted a “learn the dance” video on its website (http://thrilltheworldsurrey.com) and has hosted a series of practice events at Bear Creek Park and Seiken School of Martial Arts in Surrey (the final one at the latter site is Friday, Oct. 23 starting at 7 p.m.).
Some of these local zombies participated in last weekend’s Vancouver Halloween Parade and Expo, as a kind of warm-up for the gathering this weekend at Cloverdale Youth Park, located at 176th Street and 62nd Ave. The event will run from 1 to 3:30 p.m., with “crash course” dance lessons and zombie makeovers scheduled to happen before the big dance at 3 p.m. sharp.