Walking dead invades Cheyenne

By Shawn Havel

Cheyenne doesn’t always seem extraordinarily exciting outside of Frontier Days, but Saturday, Oct 1, the city will truly be dead.

Zombie Fest 2011 will be hosted by the Depot Plaza and the Cheyenne Little Theatre Players at the depot plaza and Atlas Theatre from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m.

The day will be full of events from a “Left 4 Dead” video game tournament, brain-or guts-eating contest, zombie/horror trivia contest, zombie defense training and two bands, Spineshank and Clandestine, playing music in the evening.

Classic horror movies will be shown throughout the evening as well. However, the main event will be the zombie walk, in which, starting at 10 a.m., participants can have their faces painted, and at 2 p.m., a massive hoard of zombies will march on the Cheyenne capitol.

Zombie walks started appearing in 2001 to promote small businesses. Since then, they have become massive social events, often to raise money for causes such as disease prevention and world hunger awareness. In fact, almost 50 international cities will participate in World Zombie Day, Oct. 8, this year, in which the participants show a last bit of humanity by donating nonperishable food items before turning themselves into the living dead.

Because of the popularity of zombies, large organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have taken advantage of the situation by publishing “Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse,” which teaches readers to prepare for the end of days…or tornados and hurricanes.

Pub Crawl variations are increasing in popularity particularly in the U.S., United Kingdom and Australia. Zombies at these events are able to buy wristbands that provide discounts as they stumble, intentionally or otherwise, from pub to pub.

So the zombies have come far from their voodoo origins in Haiti, and the virus has spread to Wyoming, America and across the globe, where zombies now swarm the streets improving local businesses, alleviating world hunger and promoting disease awareness.