Friday April 21st
Spooky’s ‘Day of the Dead Opening Celebration and Processional’ attendees gathered at Uno Pizzeria & Grill beginning at noon. With the processional beginning at 4pm, convention-goers happily crept their way toward the Wyndham. Upon their arrival, paranormal guests were screened at the first panel by former Ghostbuster, Ernie Hudson, who was Spooky’s first official Q&A for the weekend., with The Kilted Creature performing at Gatorville. Only an hour later in the same ballroom that Hudson was finishing up, Victoria Price (daughter of Vincent Price) was the featured guest for the second Q&A. In the next hour, Special FX artist Michael Burnett and heavy metal rocker Dee Snider were fan-favorite features of the ‘Strangeland’ Q&A. One final Q&A with film director Lloyd Kaufman capped off the panel discussions for this evening. Event-goers concluded the first night by attending the ‘Tattoo of the Day’ Awards in the Palms Ballroom, and a pool-side ‘Tribute to Prince’ featuring special guest DJ ‘The Purple Wizard’ helped wrap up the festivities for Day 1.
A full line-up of Q&A panel discussions, live performances, parties, and more awards!!! Nostalgia packed Saturday’s convention schedule. Led by Friday the 13th’s Kane Hodder, Ralph Macchio and Thomas Howell (The Outsiders), Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider, Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things’ actress Shannon Purser, and heavily-anticipated Halloween cast reunion panel featuring Tyler Mane, Daeg Faerch, Scout Taylor-Compton, Kristina Klebe, and Hanna Hall, fans gained wild insight into special behind the scenes commentary and secretive detail never before revealed, and was a definite must-attend for everyone at Spooky! With Spooky dedicating several banquet rooms to host this year’s events, convention-goers could shop through insane horror paraphernalia, get a forever-tattoo remembrance from one of dozens of exceptional tattoo artists on-hand, or potentially bump into one of the celebrity guests perusing the show floor in between autograph signings / photographs.
Sunday April 23rd
‘A Clockwork Orange’s’ Malcolm McDowell was the first featured Q&A, with costume contest pre-judging going on through the early afternoon. Academy Award and Golden Globe-nominated actress Joan Cusack packed a full ‘Key Ballroom’ to the delight of hundreds of adoring fans!
Ryan Lambert and Andre Gower from the 80’s pop-culture horror iconic class ‘Monster Squad’ had many in attendance screaming out dozens of popular one-liners, 30 years after the show’s introduction to the world!
The highlight for many costume-wearers this weekend came about in the form of the 4pm final costume contest, with more than $1,000 in cash and prizes being awarded by a celebrity-guest panel of judges.
CentralFloridaReview.com has attended Spooky events for the past few years, and has enjoyed the family-oriented event each and every time. It’s quite an experience when you’re walking down a hallway and all of a sudden are confronted with a giant-sized scary beast looking you dead in the eye, and in the very next second, one of the most polite voices emerges from deep within the costume and says, ‘pardon me’ as she then steps to the side in order for you to pass. It’s a massive ego-booster when the shy kid puts aside their inhibitions, transforms into a whole different persona under the guise of some make-up, and then as they trustingly stand before similarly-interested peers they’ve never met, and then compliments start flying amongst the group as to how much each other person enjoys everyone else’s efforts, noting how beautiful the other person is… a sincerely heart-warming episode to witness, and it happened constantly throughout the weekend. You witness artists effortlessly paint masterpieces right in front of you, and you see more appreciation toward one another under the incorrect assumption that everything this weekend was supposed to be ‘spooky’. Quite the contrary, rather than finding myself ‘spooked’ I found myself enthralled in the adrenaline and goodwill that was ever-present this weekend.
Sincerely, we cannot wait to attend next October’s Spooky Empire event at the Hyatt Regency Orlando… hope to see you there as well!!