If you are a baby boomer who grew up in Cleveland then the name Ghoulardi probably brings back fond memories of your younger days. Now you can pay tribute to the local TV icon in addition to other past local TV and radio celebrities when you attend the annual GhoulardiFest taking place in Cleveland, Ohio on Friday, October 30, Saturday, October 31 and Sunday, November 1.
Portrayed by Ernie Anderson (who went on to become the voice announcer for ABC-TV for many years), Ghoulardi’s Shock Theater Show on WJW-TV (Channel 8) became a staple on late night Cleveland TV on Friday evenings. The show hosted by Ghoulardi featured the showing of “B” science fiction and horror films and included live commentaries by Ghoulardi during the breaks in the movie. The show also featured Anderson’s friends and co-workers as a supporting cast. The show ran from January, 1963 through December, 1966. Ghoulardi had several catch phrases including “Turn blue,” “Cool it” and knif (fink backwards).
Attracting more than 5000 fans at last year’s Fest, this year’s GhoulardiFest features meteorologist Dick Goddard, Big Chuck, Lil’ John, Hoolihan, Son of Ghoul, Big Stash, Hollywood producer/writer Dan O’Shannon and pop culture historian Mike Olszweski. Be sure to make a stop at Shock Theater with its non-stop showings of nostalgia TV shows and movies. Guests can also enjoy Readings by Robert and don’t miss your chance to take part in a pizza eating contest.
Live entertainment will be provided by Caesare with his tribute to Elvis (Saturday and Sunday), The Rebeats (A Beatles tribute band) on Friday and Sunday, the Fred Ziwich Polka Band (Saturday), singers Dom and Ross (Saturday) and Take II (Sunday) . Guests will also be able to meet and greet Jungle Bob and his animals. GhoulardiFest will also feature a Dealers Room where a multitude of vendors will be on hand selling memorabilia, Sci-Fi and Horror items, and vintage collections in addition to autographs, toys, posters and videos.
To celebrate the Halloween season, there will be a Halloween Costume Contest on Saturday at 2 p.m. in both the Adult (cash prizes awarded) and Youth (Toys R Us gift cards awarded) categories. Guests can also participate in a Scaryaoke Contest on Friday at 6:15 p.m. where you can sing your favorite song or favorite Halloween song. The 1st place winner will receive $100 in cash.
Hours for GhoulardiFest are 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. on Friday, October 30, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 31 and 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday, November 1. Admission is $15 for one day or $30 for a 3-day ticket. Children 12 and under are free. Parking is free.
For more information about GhoulardiFest, call 440-230-4500 or get online at www.theghoulardifest.com. GhoulardiFest is being held at LaVilla Conference & Banquet Center located at 11500 Brookpark Rd. in Cleveland, Ohio.