Eagle Ranch kicks off Halloween festivities with trick-or-treating and a ‘Thriller’ flash mob Wednesday
Eagle Ranch gets you into the Halloween spirit while raising funds for SpeakUp ReachOut
Get the candy piles going early. Eagle Ranch will help you fill those Halloween bags during the 15th annual Trick-or-Treat Street on Capitol Street on Wednesday. This free event is open to all ages and costumes are encouraged. After the trick-or-treating stick around for some spooky fun with DJ Kuchler spinning tunes.
A highlight of the fall fête is the annual group dance choreographed to Michael Jackson’s epic single, “Thriller,” which came out in 1982 on the album that bears the same name. Look for your friends, neighbors and kids from Zealous Schools performing a scary shuffle in costume right on Capitol Street.
Tami Higbee has been working with people as young as five years old and older since the beginning of September to get ready for this public performance that has become a tradition since 2011 at Trick-or-Treat Street.
“It started as an event that is done around the world called ‘Thrill the World’ where everyone dances the “Thriller” dance around the world at the same time,” Higbee said.
Thrill The World is a global community project that inspires others to break down barriers by connecting people of all religions, races, political persuasions and economic backgrounds through dance, according to its website, ThrillTheWorld.com.
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Higbee took on the task of being the volunteer lead dance instructor from Lora Silagy and has carried on the torch for the past six years.
“Lora started the event. She was a Zumba instructor at the time and got asked to do it as a flash mob at Trick-o-Treat Street by Erin Vega. I was a Zumba instructor and Lora decided to pass the baton off to me,” Higbee said.
A Facebook page, “Thrill the World Eagle, Colorado,” keeps those interested in participating posted in advance of the event. Veterans of the flash mob return year after year, but they also get newcomers and start practice once a week in Sept. and the frequency usually bumps up to twice a week in October. Practices take place at Endorphin in Eagle.
Higbee said there are about 50 people who will dance in the event on Wednesday.
“My students keep me coming back. Their enthusiasm is contagious and it is so much fun. You get to learn a complicated dance in a short period of time, find a costume and perform in front of an entire town. What’s not to love?” Higbee said. “My dancers are so talented and really work hard to make this happen.”
But you don’t need to have a dance background to perform the “Thriller” dance. “I teach people how they can modify the dance moves to make it easier if they are newer to dance,” Higbee said.
This year’s nonprofit is SpeakUp ReachOut. Its mission is to prevent suicide in Eagle County through training, awareness and hope.
“The need to reach out to everyone and show positivity is what we all need. With the losses we’ve experienced here and the amount of people we reach with this dance, we feel this was an appropriate way to help our community,” Higbee said.
Local businesses are stepping up to help incentivize people to make donations to SpeakUp ReachOut. Eventgoers can give to the nonprofit before or while at Trick-or-Treat Street online at SpeakUpReachOut.org/Give-Back. Then, if they show proof of a donation, on their phone, perhaps, they can take advantage of deals that night like a free house margarita from El Segundo, $2 off house drinks at Social Oak, a small bag of popcorn at the Capitol Theater and a free pint of Eagle River Brewing’s beer at Color Coffee.
The event runs from 5 to 7 p.m. on Capitol Street and parking is available behind Capitol Theater and behind the Talon Flats building and surrounding streets. Capitol Street will be closed to traffic starting at 3 p.m. Higbee said they will probably dance around 6:15 p.m., so make sure you are parked and have your viewing spot secured by 6 p.m. since, to quote Vincent Price, “for no mere mortal can resist the evil of the thriller!”