Zombies, vampires, ghosts, and more will be haunting Pennsylvania this September with Parafest 2013, a unique event that combines celebrities and paranormal programming in the area’s first large-scale event of its kind.
From the Press Release:
Held September 6-8, 2013, at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center, Parafest 2013 was created to highlight the paranormal genre alongside horror and sci-fi in a convention unlike any other.
“I am a huge fan of the paranormal, as well as monsters and eccentric characters from movies and TV, and excited to create a home for other fans to celebrate them in the Lehigh Valley,” said Scott Gerhart, CEO of Paradox Entertainment LLC, the Allentown, Pennsylania, based organizer of the inaugural event.
Sponsored by Dorney Park’s Halloween Haunt attraction, Gerhart says that Parafest 2013 essentially began as a chance for himself and friends to have a local convention, or “con,” but it has grown into an event that has attracted the cast from current blockbuster shows. Actors attending are from “The Walking Dead” (Michael Rooker, IronE Singleton, Lew Temple), “True Blood” (Kristen Bauer, Sam Trammell, Denis O’Hare), “Supernatural” (Mark Sheppard, AJ Buckley, Ty Olsson), and “Comic Book Men” (Ming Chen, Michael Zapcic) along with stars from Ghostbusters (Ernie Hudson), Candyman (Tony Todd), The Hills Have Eyes (Michael Berryman), James Bond movies (Richard Kiel), Buck Rogers (Felix Silla), Teen Wolf (James Hampton), and more.
“There are so many iconic people that will be gathered together in one great space at the Sands Event Center, and Bethlehem has never seen anything like this!” added Gerhart.
“We also wanted our attendees to get up close and personal with these famous faces from TV so, in addition to panels and meet-and-greets, we’re offering tickets for VIP Executive access that allows you to mingle with them in private suites.”
“The nerds are coming to Bethlehem, and I couldn’t be more excited to be one of them,” said Aaron Sagers, a former Bethlehem journalist and geek culture expert who will serve as Parafest 2013’s official host.
Sagers, known for moderating at conventions across the country, writes for CNN and MTV and founded the entertainment website ParanormalPopCulture.com. He is also host/co-executive producer of the Travel Channel show “Paranormal Paparazzi.” He notes the strong paranormal component to the Bethlehem event makes it especially unique.
“Parafest 2013 taps into cons that have become popular in recent years, with the notable exception that it places a heavy emphasis on paranormal entertainment – which is a very cool part of Bethlehem’s rich history.”
Aside from the stars from hit shows and films noted above, notable paranormal personalities from reality-TV programs such as “Ghost Hunters,” “Ghost Adventures,” “Haunted Collector,” “Psychic Kids,” and “Paranormal Challenge” will be active at the event with presentations, meet-and-greets, and vendor tables.
There will even be a “ghost hunt” paranormal investigation at the nearby “Sun Inn” on Bethlehem’s Main Street – featured on “Ghost Hunters” – led by well-known investigators Mark and Debby Constantino and Jay Wasley (“Ghost Adventures”) and Brian J. Cano and Jason Gates (“Haunted Collector”) on Friday and Saturday of the event. Additionally, psychic/medium Chip Coffey (“Paranormal State,” “Psychic Kids”) will hold a gallery reading on Saturday.
As if that’s not enough for fans, Parafest 2013 is hosting a “Ouija Board Experience” with the nation’s foremost Ouija historian Robert Murch and other paranormal personalities on how to use the famous (and infamous) board. Then, the Macabre Faire Film Festival, which is still accepting submissions, offers a chance for independent filmmakers to show their work and discuss it in front of a crowd of viewers.
And because no con is complete without zombies, there will be an Undead Celeb Party where attendees will arrive as their favorite zombified (or ghost and vampire versions of) celebrities who have passed on. Professional make-up artists from sponsor Dorney Park’s Halloween Haunt event will be on hand, along with zombie actors from “The Walking Dead,” to offer tips on achieving the perfect undead look. Also, all weekend long, there will be live entertainment from bands, sideshow acts, and even a roaming zombie Rat Pack.
Joked Sagers, “With ghosts, zombies, vampires, and all other kinds of monsters, Parafest is going to be a scary good time for boos and ghouls of all ages – so good, in fact, that all those puns are worthwhile!”
Parafest 2013 will be held September 6-8 at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center. Tickets for the event range from $25-$300. For more info, and to learn about participating hotels, visit Parafest2013.com, “like” Parafest 2013 on Facebook, and follow Parafest 2013 on Twitter.
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