By Leanndra Padgett
Zombies and ghouls danced their way down Main Street on Sunday, October 27 in the fourth annual performance fundraiser “Thrilled to Give.” This Halloween event is put on by Georgetown Parks and Recreation Dance and Gymnastics Studio to raise money for The AMEN (Associated Ministries Easing Need) House, a local ministry and is a popular community event.
The AMEN House has been in Georgetown for 23 years and “provide[s] various emergency services to citizens of Scott County” (facebook.com). These services include a food pantry, clothing bank and financial assistance, when available. Donations of both food and money were collected during Sunday’s event, and many people were truly “thrilled to give.”
For weeks, dancers from the community attended practices to learn the choreography to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” On Sunday, these synchronized spooks dressed up in their worst and lay down on the street in front of the Georgetown and Scott County Museum. There were over a hundred participants, dressed in costumes and painted with makeup to look as dead as possible. Dancers were a wide range of ages, and several young goblins joined the festivities.
Spectators lined Main Street all the way past the courthouse where Connor Hall moonwalked and hip thrusted in a Michael Jackson tribute along with GC’s own Peyton Blanton, who played the part of his girlfriend. They danced down the street and met up with the zombies and a narrator in a cape. Together, the whole crew staggered and boogied up Main Street towards the courthouse. They performed through eight repetitions of the song.
Blanton and Hall have worked together in this event before. Blanton got involved through her work with Georgetown/Scott County Parks and Rec. where she teaches dance classes. A huge Michael Jackson fan, Blanton says that if she “could be half as good of a dancer as [Jackson] I would be thrilled.” She is well on her way and performed admirably, especially considering the fact that she did it all in red high heels.
Hall is a Scott County graduate (class of 2012) who is no stranger to Georgetown College. He was a guest star in last year’s performance of George McGee’s “Wonderboy.”
Sunday was a perfect night for the performance, with warmer weather than in recent days. Volunteers walked around with money buckets, and collection bins were set up to hold donations of food all to benefit the AMEN House. An estimated 3,000 people showed up to take part in the festivities, and a friendly family atmosphere permeated past the occasional disturbing costume or mask.