You don't have to wait until Halloween for ghouls and goblins. This weekend's three-day "SCAREanormal Fresno: Horror, Paranormal and Pop Culture Fan Expo" will feature all kinds of horror vendors, film screenings, panel discussions and appearances by 45 celebrities who will sign autographs and talk with fans.
Local horror enthusiast and show spokeswoman Kaci Hansen says the non-Halloween timing is to make it easy for fans of the genre to participate.
"It's already attracting people from Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Francisco and because it's summer, it will be a lot easier for them to travel. The Central Valley is really a mid-point to bring in people from a lot of different areas. And, we didn't want to hold it at Halloween because there so many things like this to do at that time that many get missed," Hansen says. "Also, having the event here means the ticket prices are lower than if it was held in a bigger city."
Tickets prices include: weekend pass, $60; VIP weekend pass, $175; one-day pass, $25 per day Friday and Saturday, or $20 on Sunday. VIP ticket holders receive special perks, such as meet-and-greets, T-shirt, poster, gift bag, exclusive VIP party, a "Breakfast With the Stars" buffet and entrance to the official after parties. Admission is free for children 10 and under with a paid adult.
Hansen urges anyone who plans to attend to buy tickets in advance at scareanormal.com.
This is the first time this show has been held in Fresno, but similar events have been staged in Los Angeles by "SCAREanormal" show producer Tom Hazeart. He also manages many of the celebrities who will attend.
Actors scheduled to appear include Fresno's own Sid Haig ("House of 1,000 Corpses") along with Ken Foree ("Dawn of the Dead"), Hal Sparks ("Dude Where's my Car?"), Andrew Bryniarski ("Texas Chainsaw Massacre"), Naomi Grossman ("American Horror Story: Asylum") and Kim Poirier ("Dawn of the Dead").
Panel discussions include:
"The People Under the Stairs," with cast members Yan Birch, Sean Whalen and Brandon Adams.
"The Walking Dead," with cast members Noel G, Anthony Guajardo, and "walkers" Sonya Thompson, Larry Mainland, Courthey Gruhn and Melissa Cowan.
"Dawn of the Dead," with cast members Foree, Mike Christopher, and Leonard Lies.
"The World According to Rob – A Discussion of the Films of Rob Zombie," with Haig, Michael Berryman, Walter Phelan and Foree.
"The Crow, 20 Years Later" with the creator of "The Crow," James O'Barr plus Rochelle Davis, Jon Polito and Berryman.
Sunday is "Family Day," which features an additional selection of stars and activities with a focus on childrens and teen programming, such as "Lab Rats" (Disney XD), "The Wizards of Waverly Place," "Hannah Montana," "Cars" and "Wreck-It Ralph."
TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at (559) 441-6355, email@example.com or @RickBentley1 on Twitter. TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at (559) 441-6355, firstname.lastname@example.org or @RickBentley1 on Twitter. Read his blog at fresnobeehive.com.