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updated: 10/10/2012 10:15 AM

New Zombie Walk melds with Lombard's Spooktacular fall festival

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  • Costumes, games and a climbing wall all will be part of the annual Spooktacular Fall Festival Sunday, Oct. 14, in downtown Lombard.

      Costumes, games and a climbing wall all will be part of the annual Spooktacular Fall Festival Sunday, Oct. 14, in downtown Lombard.
    Daily Herald file photo

  • Kids can trick-or-treat at the shops of downtown Lombard from noon to 3 p.m. during the annual Spooktacular Fall Festival Sunday, Oct. 14, at St. Charles Road and Park Avenue.

      Kids can trick-or-treat at the shops of downtown Lombard from noon to 3 p.m. during the annual Spooktacular Fall Festival Sunday, Oct. 14, at St. Charles Road and Park Avenue.
    Daily Herald file photo

 
 

The Lombard Historical Society is calling all the living and undead to its newest fundraiser involving the trendiest spooky character of the season: zombies.

The first Zombie Walk will step off at 11 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 14, and challenge participants to make it through a milelong course on the Great Western Trail and Main Street in Lombard, surviving several zombie-infested obstacles with lifelines intact.

Those who make it through the course will end at a quarantine zone at the annual Spooktacular Fall Festival, which runs from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at St. Charles Road and Park Avenue, bringing two fall events together into one.

"We thought zombies might be a fun theme to do a fundraiser with," said Jeanne Schultz Angel, executive director of the Lombard Historical Society. "We thought this might be a good way to attract a different crowd."

Teens and college students originally were the target age group for the Zombie Walk, but organizers also wanted younger families to feel comfortable joining in the spooky fun.

"We did end up toning it down a bit so families would be welcome, too," Schultz Angel said. "There will be creepy zombies, don't get me wrong, but it won't feel too scary for the little ones."

Kids younger than 10 can dress up in their scary best -- minus masks, which are not allowed -- and participate in the walk for free with a signed waiver. Older participants also are encouraged to don zombie costumes, but they must pay a $10 registration fee and sign a waiver before participating.

Registration is available beginning at 10:30 a.m. before the 11 a.m. walk, online at lombardhistory.org, or in person at the Victorian Cottage Museum, 23 W. Maple St.

Zombie Walkers will begin the trek in waves, trying to protect their three "lifelines" in the form of flag football flags, Schultz Angel said. Obstacles like downed tree limbs and severed heads will challenge them along the way as volunteer haunters -- the same group who bring fear to patrons of the Lombard Jaycees annual haunted house -- will try to steal their flags, and symbolically, their lives.

The Zombie Walk is an individual event, so no need to sign up in teams.

"But there might be safety in numbers," Schultz Angel said.

Participants may want to devise some moves to avoid a zombie strike, but running shouldn't be necessary.

"Zombies are slow-moving, anyway," she said.

Funds from the Zombie Walk will go toward the historical society's carriage house addition project, which is adding exhibit space, classrooms and accessible restrooms to the outbuilding behind the Victorian Cottage Museum.

The atmosphere at the annual Spooktacular Fall Festival stands to benefit from an influx of zombies, who should be arriving right as the event begins at noon, said Colleen Whittington, publicity chairwoman for Lombard Town Centre, which is playing host to Spooktacular.

"It will put people in the mood to be at a fall fest, and the kids will all be dressed up," Whittington said about the Zombie Walk. "It will tie everything together."

Zombies and others arriving at the fest will find trick-or-treating at downtown businesses from noon to 3 p.m., free pumpkins for the first 400 kids, games, food vendors, a petting zoo and an arts and crafts show.

The historical society will bring an educational element by hosting a scavenger hunt of historic buildings in downtown Lombard and two stages will provide entertainment. One stage focuses on music, showcasing The Mockers Band from noon to 2 p.m. and several high school acts from 3 to 5 p.m. on Park Avenue at Michael McGuire Drive.

The other stage, at St. Charles Road and Lincoln Avenue, will host a performance by students from Sky Centers Martial Arts at noon, an exotic animal show at 1 p.m. and a performance by students of The Dance Centre at 3 p.m.

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