Michael Jackson fans will pay tribute to the late King of Pop today by reprising his 1983 “Thriller” video on the eve of what would have been his 52nd birthday.
Organizers are hoping enough zombie dancers turn out for “The Thrill Lives On: Celebrating 52 Years of Michael Jackson” to set a Southern California record for what is becoming a retro-pop tradition.
The free event sponsored by the Riverside Downtown Partnership and the California Riverside Ballet gets under way at 1 p.m. on the Main Street mall.
Choreographer BJ Brasier, who worked with Jackson, will orchestrate the dance, offering free lessons to anyone, regardless of experience — or rhythm.
“Michael had a huge impact on my life as a child,” Brasier said. “I remember watching him and thinking, I want to dance and move like that.”
The 14-minute “Thriller” video, which was directed by John Landis and sold more than 9 million units, is listed by Guinness World Records as “the most successful video” ever.
Before recreating “Thriller,” a Michael Jackson costume contest will be held, and the TMK All-Star Band will perform Jackson hits, with guest appearances by local entertainers Eddie Garcia and Courtney Miller.
About 4 p.m., dancers will assemble in front of the courthouse for the “zombie boogie.”