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Night Risers attendance droops, organizers hope for better in the future

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By Amber Coulter

Not as many of the undead dug themselves out of the coffins this weekend as organizers of the Night Risers Film Festival & Expo hoped.

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The event took place for the first time from Friday through Sunday to feature independent films and revel in other horror-related festivities at Pritchard Community Center in Elizabethtown.

John Thompsett said there were some high points, such as Saturday’s brain-eating competition and a zombie walk led by people dressed as characters from “Scooby Doo.”

Many who attended encouraged organizers to keep the event going.

Vendor Chris Holman, of Bowling Green, said the event was cool, and he hopes it continues.

“I wish there had been a better turnout of people,” he said. “There’s really nothing like this going on out here.”

Other attractions drew fewer participants than hoped.

Early Sunday afternoon, no couples had turned out to be married in a macabre-style ceremony called “Viva! Dead Vegas Wedding.”

Thompsett had hoped as many as 20 couples might tie the noose — er — the knot, in a mass ceremony. Even the couple that expressed interest didn’t make it.

“We were hoping the event would produce more people,” he said. “We were hoping at least 1,000, maybe 2,000 people.”

Thompsett wasn’t sure early Sunday afternoon of the total attendance.

He thinks the lack of attendance was partly because of a busy weekend in the county that included Rineyville Days, a Super Hero family fun run at Freeman Lake Park in Elizabethtown and a home game at Elizabethtown High School.

There also might have been confusion about the event’s date. Some may have have mixed it up with a separate happening, the Elizabethtown Zombie Fest on Oct. 12.

Thompsett and his girlfriend, Terri Pfeiffer, were involved in the planning of that festival last year before planning Night Risers this year.

He said the event will rise again next year, hopefully with bigger crowds.

“It has been a good learning opportunity,” he said.

Amber Coulter can be reached at 270-505-1746 or acoulter@thenewsenterprise.com.