Calgary joins the world in hopes of breaking new record

In 2009, Calgary joined 264 cities in 33 countries to set a world record where 22,571 people simultaneously danced to Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ dance. And this year, Calgary attempted to break that record yet again when 161 Calgarians gathered in Eau Clair Market on Oct. 26 to participate in the annual international flash mob known as Thrill the World.

Thrill Calgary is the non- profit organization which organizes this event and  makes it possible for Calgarians to dress up as zombies while performing Jackson’s iconic moves.

“Everyone loves ‘Thriller’, everyone loves zombies, everyone loves a flash mob, so we take these three elements and mix them together,” said TJ Madigan, event organizer at Thrill Calgary.

“While everyone loves ‘Thriller’, zombies and flash mobs, only 128 cities in 21 countries registered to take part in Thrill the World this year.”

While  the number of cities  taking part in Thrill the World declined since the record was set in 2009, Calgary had a 50 per cent increase in the number of participants than the previous year .

“Thrill the World, which first began in Toronto in 2006, saw the largest number of participants in 2009 because it marks the year when Jackson passed away,” said Madigan.

“Despite the declining numbers, it won’t stop Calgary from continuing to join in the fun to try to break the record annually.”

” Whether the record was broken or not, the world will have to wait for the results as “it usually takes a couple weeks for Thrill The World headquarters to verify the numbers from all the events and give us a worldwide tally,” said Madigan.

“Thrill Calgary also aims to get teens involved in physical activity .It’s the most fun cardio you’ll ever do.”

Other than the fitness element, participating cities also raise money or collect food to donate to a charitable organization in their city.

“So while, yes, we’re all about fun, fitness and good old zombie scares, we want to do a little bit to support one of our favourite charities in the city,” he said.

Everyone loves ‘Thriller’, everyone loves zombies, everyone loves a flash mob. – TJ Madigan

While participation was free, Calgarians were asked to bring  non-perishable food items which were donated to the Calgary Inter Faith Food Bank.

For more information on Thrill the World, visit or visit the Calgary website here to find out how to get involved.

About Inonge Chimwaso 8 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Inonge Chimwaso worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2013-2014 academic year.