Zombie Fest to stalk E’town Saturday

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Event to celebrate undead in family-friendly environment

By Marty Finley

Elizabethtown will look like a setting from AMC’s “The Walking Dead” on Saturday.

Zombies will line the streets of downtown as part of the second Zombie Fest, hosted by Sugar Fashion Cakes and coinciding with Second Saturday activities from the Heritage Council.

The festival is sponsored by Big Daddy’s Tattoo and is free to the public, though there will be fees for certain events, said Candace Easterwood, an organizer. Proceeds benefit the Heritage Council, she said.

The plodding undead will climb from their graves and begin their labored lurch at 5 p.m. with the start of a zombie parade, which will run from Cobbler’s Café through Public Square onto Dixie Avenue, finishing at Plum Alley behind Sugar Fashion Cakes, she said.

The costume contest also returns this year at 6:30 p.m. with categories for adults, children and pets that include scariest, funniest, cutest and creative costume. Judges, too, will choose the best zombie.

The cost is $5 per costume entry and registration runs from 5 to 6 p.m. No entries are accepted after 6 p.m., according to organizers.

Easterwood said games and prize raffles will be offered and more than a dozen vendors will offer comfort foods such as hamburgers, hot dogs and cotton candy to accompany the creature feature.

Organizers, meanwhile, have arranged musical performances throughout the evening by bluegrass act Bloody Ridge Rum Runners and local rockers Stone the Crow. PoiVision DiVision, a fire-dancing troupe, also is set to perform.

To further promote the event, Sugar Fashion Cakes is selling Zombie Fest T-shirts for $12 in advance. They also will be sold on the day of the event.

To pre-order a T-shirt, call 270-234-8043. Shirts will be at the information desk.

The festival is scheduled until 8 p.m., but Easterwood said the gallery of ghouls could stick around until 9 p.m. or later. She expects a more focused and refined effort this year. Around 450 people attended the inaugural Zombie Fest last year and the event was remembered with much acclaim, but Easterwood said it was disorganized, which led to some delays.

“We’re thinking the flow will be a lot better this year,” she said. “It will be a lot more fun. Not that it wasn’t fun last year.”

Easterwood anticipates anywhere from 500 to 650 people to attend this year.

“I’d say 650 is a pretty good estimate,” she said.

Heath Seymour, outgoing executive director of the Heritage Council, said Zombie Fest is just the latest in a series of events staged with Second Saturday. The Heritage Council has expressed plans to tie as many Second Saturdays as possible to existing events in the future to draw larger crowds and give residents more to do, Seymour said. It also benefits downtown shops, which stay open later to offer their wares.

The Heritage Council’s annual Nightmare on the Square event was put on hold this year, but some events remain intact for Second Saturday, including the annual pumpkin drop, Seymour said.

Marty Finley can be reached at 270-505-1762 or mfinley@thenewsenterprise.com