Penticton and South Okanagan
Zombie Walk coming to downtown
Oct 31, 2013 / 5:00 am
The goal of the Downtown Penticton Association is to make the downtown more exciting and draw in more people.
So this Halloween, they are holding the first annual Zombie Walk and Costume Parade.
"It behooves me as an event planner, who is focused on the health and well being of the downtown, to do something for Halloween," said Laurel Burnham, market and events coordinator for the association.
Burnham had originally thought of doing something to mark the Day of the Dead, whcih is widely celebrated in Latin American countries.
The holiday, typically taking place on Oct. 31, Nov 1 and 2, focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember loved ones who have died.
In Mexico, where it is particularly celebrated, the day is a bank holiday.
"It is an interesting event in Latin American culture, where you tidy up the graveyard, go down and have a picnic with grandma," said Burnham. "There are sugar skulls, cookies shaped like corpses and lots of music. People get costumed up, it's a real acknowledgement of death being a part of life."
Unfortunately, said Burnham, she didn't have it in her budget to do a big over the top Latin band to celebrate the holiday honouring the dead.
Furthermore, she would like more input from the Latino community, before holding such an event.
"I wouldn't want people to think we were appropriating something for commercial purposes," she said.
So out of that came the walk, with zombies in Burnham's eyes being a manifestation of the fascination with death.
Zombie oriented events have also met with success in other places. There is a zombie walk in Kelowna and bars in Banff are zombie themed for Halloween.
The walk in Penticton starts at 4 p.m. Thursday, at Nanaimo Square. From there, participants walk to Front Street, where there will be a big tent set up with music and costume judging.
There will be professional zombie makeup courtesty of Young Blood Cosmetics at Melt Spa and face painting, sponsored by Dragon's Den, including sugar skulls.
People of all ages are invited and the organizer is in the process of calling up seniors' residences to bring people down.
Participants can also dress up however they choose, either as a zombie or otherwise. They are also invited to bring along their costumed dogs.
Psychic readings will also be offered because, according to Burnham, this is one of the best times of year to have your cards read.
"Everyone is excited about this, not just zombies," she said. "And I am really looking forward to what people do with their dogs."
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