Sara Pokorny

Scranton will ‘Thrill the World’ to break world record and fund youth scholarships

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Flash mobs, while fun, are also something that fizzled out as quickly as they rolled into your local mall – if you’ve seen one group of awkward dancers, you’ve seen them all.

Exceptions can be made, however, especially when it involves breaking a world record. Though it’s in its eighth year globally, this is the first time Thrill the World is coming to NEPA, and it all goes down this Saturday, Oct. 25.

Thrill the World is a global zombie flash mob, held on the same date and time around the world to break the Guinness World Record for the “Largest Simultaneous Dance to Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller.’” The Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple is not only holding the event, but using it as an opportunity to fundraise for youth programming and the Matthew Flynn Memorial Scholarship.

“The SCC staff is all registered and ready to go,” said Emily Hibbs, development manager at the SCC.

“Our in-house choreographer Tina Sohns-Williams has all of the steps down and is teaching a number of free dance lessons to registered Thrill the World participants. We have dancers of all levels signed up and having fun learning the dance together.”

Dancing, however, is not a requirement to be a part of the bigger event. If you plan on attending but don’t want to participate in the “Thriller” dance, you can register for general admission and “zombie insurance” online.

Zombie dress is also not required, but encouraged.

“Some of the dancers are planning on wearing their event t-shirt with ‘zombified’ bottoms,” Hibbs noted, “while some teams are wearing a corporate t-shirt to advertise their group. Come as you are, or come fully dressed as the undead!”

The fun doesn’t stop after the six-minute song ends. Participants are then invited to take part in the Zombie Crawl.

“We have a number of downtown bars and restaurants who have partnered with us for the Zombie Crawl,” Hibbs said.

“With your event registration, you will receive a zombie crawl map of the downtown businesses and a wristband. With the wristband, you will be able to receive discounts at the participating businesses. We have made this, along with the main event, perfect for all ages, so feel free to bring the family.”

There’s also a charitable angle to the fun. Proceeds will go to the Matthew Flynn Memorial Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships for the SCC’s Creative and Performing Arts Academy, a year-long arts program offering master classes, private classes, and a five-session summer camp. So far, SCC has already provided over $18,000 in scholarships to local children.

Thrill the World
Location: Scranton Cultural Center (420 N. Washington Ave., Scranton)
Date: Saturday, Oct. 25
Time: 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m., official dance at 5 p.m.
Cost: $25 per person, $15 for students

For more info, visit To donate to the Matthew Flynn Memorial Scholarship Fund, visit