Monday, October 25, 2010

Going to a Party Where No One's Still Alive

When: Friday, Oct. 29, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Where: Beginning at the Marina Civic Center

PANAMA CITY — The zombie apocalypse is coming.
Friday afternoon, legions of the undead will gather at the Panama City marina to begin a slow, lumbering stroll up Harrison Avenue for Panama City’s inaugural “Zombie Walk.”

Allan Thompson, one of the event organizers, wants everyone to just come out and have fun. So far, about 600 people have indicated they plan to participate.

“In the horde of zombies, race does not matter,” Thompson said, making a joke on the ongoing debate over “fast” or “slow” zombies as depicted in the movies. The important thing is not to take the event too seriously, he indicated.

“Zombies are a funny play on death, not to mention what the comedic ‘Shaun of the Dead’ movie did for the genre,” Thompson said. “Why are zombies so hot these days? Well, they don’t sparkle and they’re easy to imitate.”

He suggested that participants (and those who just want to witness the spectacle of the apocalypse) bring cameras to photograph and video record the walk. There are “zombie walks” all over the world, Thompson pointed out on the group’s Facebook page. He also listed some “rules of conduct” for participants:

  • Do not attack the living. Be respectful of citizens not participating in the walk. Do not scare little children. Do not approach people who do not want to be approached.
“If someone appears frightened, back off and keep walking,” he said. “Do not touch anyone!”
  • Obey traffic laws. No cutting off cars or holding up traffic.
“We do not want any zombies to be ticketed or arrested during our stroll,” he said. “If you get a red light, you wait for the red light.”
  • Be respectful of all businesses. Do not keep people from entering or exiting any store front. Do not harass patrons at restaurants who may be sitting outside. Let them enjoy their meal. Do not enter any business along the route until the walk is finished.
“If you need beverages or snack to bring along with you, buy them beforehand,” he said.
  • Be careful with fake blood and other makeup that may stain. No bloody handprints on public walls. No graffiti. No littering.
“Take care of all your makeup needs prior to coming to the walk,” he said. “We don’t want to leave a bloody mess.”
  • Respect authority.
“If the police ask us to disperse, do so immediately,” he said. “Do not fight them. Do not argue with them. This is meant to be fun. We do not want any zombie arrests.”
  • No alcohol. If you want to drink, keep it in the bars or at home prior to or after the walk. Drinking will not be tolerated during the walk.
“For zombies 21 years rotting, there will be a pub crawl after the walk,” he said. “Inquire the day of (the walk).”
  • No weapons.
“Zombies don’t need no stinking weapons — neither should you,” he said. “By this I mean no real weapons, fake as possible.”
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