Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! For several years we have watched a Ghostbusters tribute car complete with the Ghostbusters theme song and a waving puppet cruise through the campground. We always wave and smile. So do the delighted kids. This year Chris and Sarah Holt decided to stop and introduce themselves.
Theirs is a fascinating story of following one’s dreams and passions. For Chris Holt, it is a passion that started at the age of 4 when he saw his first “Ghostbusters” movie. Even then he made a “Proton Pack” from a MacGregor duffel bag and “Neutrona Wand” from a mini Louisville Slugger Kirby Puckett baseball bat. While it was not as elaborate as today’s screen-accurate Ghostbusters Proton Pack, it had all the same imagination and passion that Chris still has now.
Screen-accurate Ghostbuster Proton Pack
Chris is an active member of the Twin Cities Minnesota Ghostbuster fan club. In 2016 he started creating his own Ghostbuster Proton Pack. Studying the film and available stills, he put together a realistic, screen-accurate version. The belt, tools and scanner followed.
Chris and Sarah set up at events with Slimer, Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, Terror Dog and Virgo the Carpathian from the first Ghostbuster movie and sequels.
Ghostbusters tribute car
In 2018, Chris decided to create a Ghostbusters tribute car. While there is not an actual Ghostbusters car in the movie, creating a tribute car was a great way to drive around in parades and parks. He already had the 2000 Mazda MX-5 Miata, so he souped it up with music, sirens, and stickers. What better way to spend a warm Minnesota summer night than riding around in a convertible spreading happiness?
Spreading joy in the campground
Recently Chris and Sarah were cruising around the campground in their Ghostbusters tribute car and someone asked them to stop and surprise their kids. Chris went much further and set up all the characters. When the kids arrived he gave them the tools to fight the evil forces. He then added the proton beams and sent the photos to the parents. The kids and parents were delighted!
Chris and Sarah do not charge for appearances at parades, in the campground or at events. He does it remembering how 4-year-old Chris would have loved to see the setup and get a photo with his favorite hero. Chris is a volunteer at many events. Recently he was approached by Paulie Spit who owns KSIZ Sizzlin’ 99.9 FM radio station to promote and monetize some of his Ghostbuster appearances.
Ghostbusters during COVID
During COVID, Chris found a Facebook site called Cruises for a Cause. People would register kids’ birthdays and then Chris and Sarah would drive by the child’s house. Through that, Chris connected with a Halloween event in Anoka, Minnesota, and has become the volunteer resident Ghostbuster for Anoka Halloween and Christmas. For anyone outside of Minnesota, Anoka Halloween is THE event of the fall season.
Another activity Chris hosted during COVID was reading Ghostbuster kids’ books over Zoom while in the Ghostbusters uniform with props in the background. He would demonstrate the props and answer questions after the story.
Favorite moments in the Ghostbusters tribute car
What are their favorite moments? For Sarah, it is when a little girl ran up and asked if she could give Sarah a hug.
Chris’s favorite moment is when super-excited 4-year-old Ethan ran up, dressed in a ghost costume. It was Ethan’s first-ever Halloween event.
For both, it is the unfiltered joy in the children when they get to handle the props and get their picture taken by Mom or Dad.
“Find what you love and find your gift”
For Chris and his wife, Sarah, the reward is in the joy of the children. Kids (and adults, too) love to gather ’round the car and use the props and have their photos taken.
It is about making positive memories. As he says, “Two seconds in a kid’s life can make a difference, and that difference can make a change.” His advice to others? “Find what you love, follow it and find your gift.” For Chris and Sarah that is simply making kids smile.
If you feel like watching Ghostbusters now, you can rent it here.