Hammond Horror Festival returns for third year

Scene from a theatrical performance during the Hammond Horror Festival.

Scene from a theatrical performance during the Hammond Horror Festival.

The Hammond Horror Festival, presented by the Louisiana Center for Theatrical Arts and Alpha Psi Omega will be returning on Thursday, Oct. 24. The festival is a series of events that take place in and around downtown Hammond.

Under the artistic direction of Taylor McLellan and James Winter, the festival will consist of live music, screenings of independent horror films, a masquerade ball and an original theatrical performance. McLellan says the festival is an opportunity for local artists to get their work shown.

“This year we have three nights of events that give opportunities for artists of all kinds to get their work shown,” said McLellan. “Working with groups like the Hammond Regional Arts Center, LA LA Tribal Belly Dance Troupe, Sir-Reel Studios and the Downtown Development District, we have developed a strong partnership within the arts community around town and can’t wait to see things take off. Through the help of a great production team, we’ve assembled a festival that will give everyone a new way to be entertained around Halloween.”

According to Winter, the festival has grown significantly since the first festival in 2011.

“The festival grew considerably last year. Involvement doubled as did attendance at the various events. People seem to genuinely like the Hammond Horror Festival. It is becoming something the community looks forward to each year,” said Winter.

The first event of the festival will be the Macabre Masquerade Ball, which be held on October 24 at the Hammond Regional Arts Center (217 East Thomas St.) from 7-11 p.m. Festivities for the ball include the Zombie Fashion Show and a performance by the LA LA Tribal Belly Dance Troupe. A horror themed local arts market will also be set up throughout the event.

Attendees are encouraged to wear formal attire with a horror twist and masks are required for entry. There will be raffle prizes during the ball and tickets can be purchased at the door for $20 per person and $30 per couple.

On Friday, Oct. 25 the Freaky Film Night will take place. The film night will showcase short films created by local artists and afterwards a screening of the 1968 horror film “Night of the Living Dead.” The film night, for mature audiences only, will take place at Pottle Recital Hall and admission to the film night is $5.

“We have always wanted had a goal to include film within the mix of the arts presented in this festival,” said McLellan. “‘Night of the Living Dead’ is one of the best horror films ever made, so what better way to kick things off than with a classic.”

On Saturday, Oct. 26 there will be a theatrical production “7 Signs of the Apocalypse.” This event will feature seven 10-minute plays which will be written, designed and directed all in one day. The theme for this event will be based on 7 apocalyptic events.

“With so many end-of-the-world movies blowing up the cinemas right now, we feel like this theme is socially relevant and a great way to explore new ways to play with an audience,” said McLellan.

A visual art exhibit will also be on display in the lobby throughout the night. Tickets for “7 Signs of the Apocalypse” will be sold for $7 at the Vonnie Borden box office prior to the show at 7 p.m.

Box offices will be open 30 minute before each festival event. Portions of the proceeds will be donated to the American Cancer Society towards their efforts in cancer research.

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