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Can't wait for Halloween? Catch zombie fever this weekend around Tampa Bay

THRILL THE WORLD: Such an uplifting title for what is essentially a bunch of zombies dancing to Michael Jackson. Thousands of people worldwide will attempt the world record for largest simultaneous Thriller dance. The biggest local gathering gets under way at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Pier in St. Petersburg. Spectators can gawk for free (or fork over $5 to get a zombie makeover). The dance begins at 8:30 and includes a food drive to benefit the St. Petersburg Free Clinic Food Bank. But you can also Thrill the World in Tampa at the Northwest Hillsborough Family YMCA (813-695-9054) at 8:30 and in Clearwater at the ExtraOrdinair Lounge (813-486-5255).

SPOOK CENTRAL: This free event — at St. Petersburg's Central Avenue and 13th Street — is more family friendly. You know, as if zombies invaded Mayberry and opened a pie shop. From 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, take ghost tours of the "haunted" Gas Plant Antique Arcade, enter a costume contest and get a Thriller dance lesson by Suncoast Dance Academy.

ZOMBIE WEEKEND: Sometimes life as a night-walking affront to humanity takes a toll on your bones. Sounds like the perfect time to chill and catch a flick. The Beach Theatre (315 Corey Ave., St. Pete Beach) is showing zombie movies all weekend, beginning with Night of the Living Dead (9 tonight), Shaun of the Dead (9:30 p.m. Saturday) and a zombied up Rocky Horror Picture Show (11:30 p.m. Saturday). Price: $5 each film.

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: Jobsite Theatre at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center has resurrected its annual tribute to horror and black humor with its stage production of Night of the Living Dead. Be wary of adult language and situations — Hello? Dead people! — and check for ticket availability ahead of time, because some shows are sold out. The production runs through Nov. 15. Tickets are $24.50. (Read our review on Saturday's page 2B.)

NECRONOMICON: No, it's not a tongue-twister — zombies are notoriously bad at articulation anyway. Necronomicon is an annual around-the-clock sci-fi, fantasy and horror convention. Expect live-action gaming and gory masquerades that would make an ER doctor queasy. It starts at 9 this morning at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront and runs straight through Sunday. Admission varies from $20 to $50 depending on how many days your corpse wants to attend. Read more at


Find dozens more Halloween events starting this weekend, along with video of "Thrill the World" rehearsals, at

Can't wait for Halloween? Catch zombie fever this weekend around Tampa Bay 10/22/09 [Last modified: Thursday, October 22, 2009 10:25pm]
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