It’s close to October, and something funky’s lurking in Marana.
The town is one of several that will try to break the record next month for the most people to dance to Michael Jackson’s 1984 hit, “Thriller.”
On Saturday, Oct. 25 at 11 a.m., the town will hold the dance at the Marana Heritage Park. Instruction begins at 9:30 a.m.
The idea came about when Marana Middle School recreational programmer Adelina Martin was looking for dances to teach her students last year.
After discovering a complete how-to guide on thrilltheworld.com, she decided to take the next logical step and try to get the town to participate in the dance.
“I knew it would go well with the Fall Heritage festival,” Martin said.
In the Thriller music video, Michael Jackson transforms into a werewolf and dances in unison with a group of zombies.
Thrill The World, the group coordinating the world-wide effort, is trying to break the Record Holders Academy mark of 1,722 simultaneous dancers in 52 cities.
“The people who show up who know the dance will be the ones who will be counted,” Martin said.
So far, cities in 12 countries including San Diego, Warsaw and Shanghai have signed up for the simultaneous event. The only other Arizona city participating thus far is Avondale.
The appeal of the Thriller dance can be seen in movies such as “13 Going on 30” and in a YouTube video of hundreds of prisoners in the Philippines performing the dance. That video has been seen nearly 18 million times.
The Guinness World Record for largest simultaneous dance occurred in 2002, when 197,569 elementary school students danced the Hokey-Pokey across Canada.
The same day of the dance, the town will hold the first Marana Fall Heritage Festival from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Heritage Park, just south of Gladden Farms. The event will feature historical displays, arts and crafts vendors, a farm stand and dancing zombies.