The Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Garden will be ground zero Saturday, Oct. 29, for 150 dancing zombies as they rise up from the earth at the stroke of 2 p.m., and join the annual Thrill the World performances held in unison at myriad locations around the globe.
Hosted by the nonprofit World Dance for Humanity since 2010, the local event will open with a free dance party for all at 1 p.m., followed by the iconic “Thriller” performance at 2 p.m.
Those attending are urged to come in costume and rock to the beat of such frightful favorites as “Monster Mash,” “Superstition” and “Love Potion No. 9.”
The program also will include addresses from members of Santa Barbara’s Ukrainian and Iranian communities. World Dance has been supporting both groups in recent months by participating in local rallies, and raising more than $200,000 in humanitarian relief funds for Ukraine.
For World Dance, the Thriller event acts as a fundraiser to benefit the organization’s Rwanda Education Fund, which is giving 287 Rwandan students a chance to attend high school and college; and Santa Barbara’s Westside Boys & Girls Club, where World Dancers provide after-school tutoring.
This year, Thriller will be dedicated to the memory of Nicole Danielle Greenwood, a beloved World Dancer and Thriller enthusiast who died this week in a tragic accident at the age of 35.
In lieu of flowers, her parents have asked that all donations in Nicole’s memory go to World Dance for Humanity’s Nicole Greenwood Rwanda Education Fund, to give impoverished children a chance to get an education. Visit Remembering Nicole.