BY TOM LAVIS
The sixth annual Great Pumpkin Masquerade Ball on Saturday promises to be a howling good time.
The event, at Ace’s, 316 Chestnut St. in the Cambria City section of Johnstown, will feature three dance bands that will be dressed in costume to set the mood for the evening.
Shades of June, Ribbon Grass and YUM will share the stage and keep patrons in high spirits.
Doors will open at 8 p.m., said Ryan Krinjeck, lead vocalist and guitarist for Shades of June.
“We have a great response every year with this event because the audience members do their part to create a festive atmosphere,” he said. “Last year, I would estimate that over 700 people were in attendance.”
Other members of the band are Chris Myer, bass guitar, and Jesse August on drums. The three combine on vocals to deliver a high-energy, rock/pop sound.
“We like to take different styles of music and put our own rock-based style on it,” Krinjeck said. “In a given show, we will do everything from Johnny Cash to Katy Perry to Notorious B.I.G.”
Ribbon Grass is a dance band that covers everything from country to hip-hop, and YUM shows its versatility by doing ’80s songs, modern rock, pop, country and rap.
Krinjeck called Ace’s the perfect venue for this frightfully good night.
He said Ace’s does a nice job of decorating, along with special lighting, sound and a fog machine to create a Halloween atmosphere.
“We have costumes, prizes, concert-quality sound and lighting, great bands, dancing and amazing drinks,” Krinjeck said. “There is really something for everyone at this event, so it’s time to get off the couch and come out for the best party in the area.”
He estimates that the number of homemade and store-bought costumes are about equal.
“We probably see around 75 percent of the audience showing up in costume,” he said.
One of the highlights of the evening is the costume contest.
Those wishing to participate in the contest must be at Ace’s before 9:30 to be judged.
A team of judges is stationed at the door to decide if a costume is contest worthy.
When the first band starts at 9:30, the team will get busy narrowing contestants to a manageable number.
The audience will make the ultimate decision by its applause to decide the top three male and female entries.
First-place winners will receive $100 each, while second- and third-place finishers will receive $50 and $25 each, respectively.
“This event, along with the St. Patrick’s Day Bash, is probably one of the bigger, nonfestival events in the area,” Krinjeck said. “Simply put, we want to create an entertaining atmosphere that isn’t easily re-created in other venues that includes concert-quality sound and lighting that sets the scene for a party that people won’t soon forget.”
He said it’s hilarious to see how much thought and hard work goes into some of the costumes.
“Probably the best I saw last year was a guy who was pretending to be a well-known celebrity in a prison cell,” Krinjeck said. “He actually had a prison cell around him.”
He personally enjoys the opportunity to hang out with the other bands.
“Generally, we are all performing on weekends so we can’t go see each other,” he said. “My favorite part is getting to play to a huge crowd.”
Food and refreshments will be available for purchase.
Tickets are $10 at the door on a first-come, first-served basis.
What: Sixth annual Great Pumpkin Masquerade Ball.
Where: Ace’s, 316 Chestnut St. in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.
When: 8 p.m. Saturday.
Tickets: At the door.
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