Night creatures call and the dead start to walk in their masquerade. There’s no escapin’ the jaws of the alien this time, as the Annual Zombie Walk commences in Waverly.
The walk, which raises non-perishable food items for food insecure locals, has been celebrated for four years, growing with each event.
The founder of the event is Sara Snell-Kirton, who is heavily involved in the Backwoodz Oddities Haunted House. She started the walk as a way to bring some spooky fun to Waverly on Halloween, while also making a difference in her community.
“Honestly, I just love Halloween. I was married on Halloween and I enjoy the season and everything about it,” Snell-Kirton said. “I also thought something needed to be done, maybe a food drive, to help some area charities out. With the zombie craze going on, it just sort of fit.”
Snell-Kirton said she organizes the events with friends, most of whom are involved with Backwoodz Oddities, so they understand horror.
The food collected will be going to a new charity this year, one that Snell-Kirton says is in need the most right now.
“All food collected will go to Southern Ohio Homeless Veterans,” Snell-Kirton said. “I was approached by them and they explained that they needed some help, so we decided to change things up a little.”
The event will have plenty of activities planned, according to Snell-Kirton. There will be a costume contest in six categories, a zombie dance-off for children, a zombie queen pageant, food, vendors, and fun for all ages.
“I want to stress that this is a very kid-friendly event,” Snell-Kirton said. “We don’t want parents to not come because they are worried about their children not enjoying everything.”
Snell-Kirton went on to say that children make up a large portion of the event’s participants.
“When we first started, we thought we’d get a lot of teenagers and people in their 20s, but it turned out to be the opposite,” Snell-Kirton said. “It turned out we just had a lot of young children and adults.”
Since the event has a wide array of participants, the organizers have planned many events to appeal to people of all ages.
“Things will be kicked off with two events for kids and the zombie pageant for anyone 16 and over,” Snell-Kirton said. “We continue with the main attraction, and start the zombie walk. I always stress to wear comfortable shoes, because we do walk over a mile. We don’t move too quickly, but it can still be a lot of work. When we get back, we have the costume contests and everything else. It is a lot of fun.”
The Fourth Annual Zombie Walk will be held in Waverly on Saturday, October 31 at noon. To walk with the zombies, guests must donate four non-perishable food items per person and be dressed as a zombie. The event will be at 100 E Second Street, Waverly.
Snell-Kirton said that there are all sorts of zombies that participate, from more classic Night of the Living Dead zombies to bloody and crazed Walking Dead zombies. Snell-Kirton said she looks forward to discovering what this year holds and looks forward to bringing in Halloween the right way.
“When bad weather moved our walk from October 3 to October 31, it actually opened us up to something cool, because of Trick or Treat being that same day,” Snell-Kirton said. “We will begin at noon and we will probably finish about 3:30 or 4 p.m., and then the kids who attend can just hop right on and get ready for Trick or Treat.”
More information can be had by visiting their Facebook page or their website at www.waverlyzombiewalk.org.
Reach Joseph Pratt at 740-353-3101, ext. 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.