From the first time I met Jeff O’Neil, I knew he was something of a mad genius.

O’Neil’s idea for a Midwest Monster Fest was so brilliant I was amazed that no one else had come up with it. And, sure enough, it ended up being a huge success.

Now O’Neil has had another fantastic idea.

The Halfway to Halloween Convention, presented by Midwest Monster Fest, the Quad Cities’ premier horror convention, will take place on May 13th and 14th at the Rock Island County Fairgrounds in East Moline, and as the first day of the event will transpire on a Friday the 13th, Halfway to Halloween will feature Douglas Tait, the actor who portrayed Jason Vorhees, the classic horror character, in the movie Freddy vs. Jason.

As Halfway To Halloween Hits, Let's Look At The Chilling Fun Of Everyone's Favorite Wild Holiday

Other celebrity guests include Chad Coleman (The Walking Dead, The Orville), Eileen Dietz (The Exorcist, Halloween II),Eugene Clark (Land of the Dead), David Ellefson of Megadeth and The Lucid (Dwellers), Damian Maffei (Haunt, Wrong Turn),Terri Partyka (Haunt, Batman v Superman), Daniel Pesina (Mortal Kombat 1 & 2 video games), Drew Fortier of The Lucid (Dwellers) …and more. All guests will be signing autographs and offering photo-ops (individual rates and costs may vary). The event will also host a concert on Saturday night at 6pm with alternative metal rock band Alborn headlining. Openers include The Forty Twos, Elisium, Non Grata, and Giallows.

Tickets for the event can be purchased at www.mwmonsterfest.com/tickets.html or at Coop Records in Moline, IL. Prices range from $13 for a limited weekend pass to $20 for a full weekend pass.

O’Neil’s events in the past have been great fun, and the Halfway to Halloween will undoubtedly be a blast.

Where Christmas is like the Rolls Royce of holidays, Halloween is a jacked-up Camaro with flames painted on the sides and pink foam dice and garter belts hanging from the rear-view mirror. Halloween is pure fun. Anyone can love Halloween; you don’t have to be of a certain religion, or have a girlfriend or boyfriend, or be a florist or own a card shop, and it still has its own “Charlie Brown” special.

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I remember when I was a kid, my brother and I would carve our pumpkins into gruesome faces, all while trying to get the most gooey pumpkin innards into each others’ hair. Meanwhile, my sister would be trying to carve a Snoopy face out of her pumpkin, although it always ended up looking more like Phyllis Diller. Not that it mattered to my friends and me. On November 1 we would still get up on our garage roof and toss it off to see it splatter.

When you’re a kid, the greatest thing about Halloween is trick-or-treating. Every year my parents would give us the standard “razor-blade-in-the-apple” speech, and tell us to be in early, and every year we would stay out as late as we could getting candy. The rest of the night we’d play ding-dong-ditch. When you’re 10, ding-dong-ditch is the funniest thing in the world, except of course for calling up people and asking “if there’s a John in the house.” When you get older, your comedy tastes become refined, and then you can understand great humor like the president saying he’s going to balance the budget.

When I would arrive home, first I would have all of my Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Nestle Crunch bars, and then work my way through the rest. By the end of the week my loot would all be gone except for Sweet Tarts and those generic gumballs and malted milk balls you get in the clear plastic wrappers.

As Halfway To Halloween Hits, Let's Look At The Chilling Fun Of Everyone's Favorite Wild Holiday

One Halloween tradition everyone at any age can do is egg, dung-bomb, and toilet-paper someone’s house. No, just kidding, what I really meant to say is dress up in a scary costume, like a ghost, a vampire, or a student loan bill. It’s always fun dressing up in costume for Halloween; it’s something that’s fun whether you’re a first-grader or an adult. And, of course, you can dress in costume at the Halfway to Halloween gigs.

Throughout the event, local and not-so-local vendors will offer a wide range of products including collectibles, books, comics, movies, toys, food, beverages, and more. The show will also feature horror-themed side show acts, games, and contests as well as food and spirits. Cosplayers are encouraged to attend in costume.

The show hours are 4:00pm – 11:00pm on Friday and 11:00am – 7:00pm. This event is a “must” for any fan of horror!

For more info, check out www.midwestmonsterfest.com or on Facebook and Instagram (@midwestmonsterfest).

So if you’re looking for a frighteningly good time next weekend, celebrate that we’re Halfway to Halloween…

As Halfway To Halloween Hits, Let's Look At The Chilling Fun Of Everyone's Favorite Wild Holiday
Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.
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