BY: KRISTIN CURTIS
I imagine you are eating dinner with your family at Coopersmiths Pub and Brewery. You are all sitting back enjoying your meal, chatting about what happened today at school or work, when suddenly someone stumbles into Old Town Square. They seem to be limping and quite undead in demeanor. After a few minutes, you realize that the person is leading a herd of others, who seem to be in the same condition. Before you know it, you are in the middle of a full-blown zombie apocalypse. Zombies are crawling all over the Square, arms outstretched, drooling, and looking for their own tasty meal.
You decide that instead of panicking and running away (most likely towards your own demise), you may as well join in on the zombie fun. This year the zombie fun will be in ghastly proportions at the 8th Annual Old Town Zombie Fest benefitting Turning Point, a multi-service nonprofit center for youth struggling with mental health, behavioral, or substance abuse issues. The festival will take place on Saturday, October 22 throughout Old Town Fort Collins and will most likely have over 3,000 attendees enjoying the Halloween festivities that local vendors have to offer.
“One of the nice things about this festival is the event itself has almost outgrown us. Fort Collins has realized that Zombie Fest is the best Halloween shindig around,” says Scott Von Bargen, Media and Events Coordinator at Turning Point.
In an effort to benefit the community by turning around the lives of the youth within the community, Turning Point’s biggest event of the year will not be one to miss. This year, Zombie Fest will feature an Odell Beer Garden, more entertainment on the stage, and will extend to 10:00 p.m. on the Old Town Square. The Zombie Fest will cater to all ages, beginning with the Kids Crawl from 2:00 -6:00 p.m. Prior to the first crawl, as well as throughout the evening, participants can get their ghoulish makeup done by makeup artists Evil John Mays and Juiced on Imagination. Pricing for makeup ranges from $10-$30 depending on how zombified you want it.
For the adults, this year Zombie Fest will have the Odell Beer Garden set up on Old Town Square from 4:00-9:00 p.m. From 5:00 – 9:34 p.m., the Zombie Crawl for all ages will commence featuring Zombies among all types of spooky specimens. Each crawler will receive a wristband with the purchase of their ticket that entitles them to five free stops with goodies as they crawl along. Along the way, they can redeem their punches for free food, drinks, and fun from any of the 60 vendors and businesses along the way. Memory Box Photo Booth will be set up for some keepsakes from the crawl.
“It’s a neat event because the businesses in the community are our partners in this. It changes up their evening as well,” says Von Bargen.
Throughout the festival, participants can compete in various contests such as best kid’s costumes and best couple costumes. According to Von Bargen, this year there will be more entertainment between 6:00-9:00 p.m. featuring fire breathers and zombie aerial acts in the square.
“We are so fortunate that the city, the newly remodeled Old Town Square, local businesses, our agency, and the public all come together for one night and the city prospers. For one night it’s a crazy mosh pit of fantastic costumes and entertainment”
Advanced tickets are $16 and day of tickets at $20. They are available for purchase online at oldtownzombie.com.