Town prepares for zombie onslaught

Rick Dutrow, of Stephens City, leads several dozen zombies across Commerce Avenue in Front Royal during last year's Zombie Walk. This year's Zombie Walk starts at Bing Crosby Stadium at 6 p.m. Saturday and will proceed down Warren and Chester streets toward the town commons. Rich Cooley/Daily file

 

The streets of Front Royal will be singing with the groans of the undead during the third annual Front Royal Zombie Walk on Saturday.

Participating corpses will assemble at the Bing Crosby Stadium at 6 p.m., ready to walk and hungry for brains. From there, the zombie horde will shamble its way down Warren and Chester streets toward the town commons.

This year, participants, observers and undead fans of all kinds will be able to buy zombie merchandise from vendor Paramedic Zombies and concessions from Apple House Deli. Event sponsor The Lucky Star Lounge will host an after party with music by Concrete Blues starting at 9 p.m.

Event creator and organizer Roxanne Bauserman said around 275 zombies showed up for last year’s walk and said she’s hoping for a crowd of around 400 this year.

“It seems like my Facebook event has kind of climbed on up there, so we’ll see,” she said. “It should be the biggest one yet.”

After each walk, she said she considers requests and suggestions from those following and posting on the Facebook page.

She described one mother who got creative at the first zombie walk in 2013 by decking her baby out as a zombie while touting it around in a carrier. Last year, she said another woman dressed as character Michonne from “The Walking Dead,” leading three kids dressed as zombies down the route.

Makeup artists from Basement SFX will help those looking to freshen up their rotten flesh at the stadium on a first-come, first-serve basis. Anyone is welcome to join the shamble, but those not wanting to roughen up their graveyard duds or splash on some fake blood can simply watch as the parade of putrescence slowly invades the town.

Although there’s no ticket or cost associated with walking or observing, Bauserman encourages participants to contribute items and monetary donations toward the Front Royal Congregational Community Action Project and the Warren County Humane Society. Wish lists for both nonprofits can be found on the event’s Facebook page at at http://tinyurl.com/q5voh4u.

For an event that started from a brainstorming session with her fellow “The Walking Dead” fan friends, Bauserman said that the growth has been encouraging. She said she takes every year as it comes, but one day would like to offer sponsored merchandise for a widely known zombie walk.

“It’s all about the charity and getting together as a community and having fun,” she said. “I never ever expected it to get this big, but I’ll take it because I’m having a blast.”

IF YOU GO

• 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday along Warren Avenue and Chester Street between 8th and Main streets in Front Royal.

• Participation and observing are free. For more information, check the Facebook page at http://tinyurl.com/q5voh4u.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com