September 27, 2020

BY NICOLE NEMETH

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A stream of zombies invaded Forbes Park on Oct. 11 to participate in the third annual Cambridge Zombie Walk.

This year’s event was hosted and organized by the local merchants of Hespeler including Kerri Mercer of Black Orchid Designs Alternative Couture, Zack Wilson of The Vault and Alison Saunders of Rowan Photography Studio.

“It’s great to have the community out. It’s really for the families and for fun,” Wilson said.

The walk commenced at 1 p.m. with a presentation of Michael Jackson’s Thriller put on by Michele Hopkins and Tippy Toes Dance School. It then proceeded through Forbes Park and out onto the streets before returning to the park.

The first Cambridge Zombie Walk was held in 2012 and had approximately 200 participants. The second year they only had about 70 people come out, with the same number turning out this year.

Both Wilson and Mercer felt the low turnout last year was due to poor weather conditions, whereas this year it may have been caused by being held over the Thanksgiving weekend. Because of that, they both agreed that next year the event will be held on a different weekend.

Despite the lower turnout participants appeared to have a great time socializing before, during and after the walk. Many people conversed about each other’s unique and well thought-out costumes, as well as favourite horror movies and other horror-themed events.
There were children of all ages playing together as little undead creatures on the playground and even dogs were seen in costume; one dog even carried a rubber foot with him throughout the day.

When asked what her favourite part of the event was Mercer said, “It’s seeing everybody’s costumes. Seeing the creativity of people.”

This was the first year the Cambridge Zombie Walk incorporated a mini-horror convention into the event with roughly a dozen vendors set up in the Scout House. There was a wide range of items for sale and services offered including: fashion and accessories from Black Orchid Designs; posters, T-shirts, movies and collectibles from The Vault; cupcakes, zombie-inspired gingerbread men and lollipop treats; comic books and action figures from Retro Rocket Comics; and undead makeup services provided by the artists at Star Cat Productions.

“It’s a good way to let the kids here know about our Halloween comic-fest,” said Chris Chettle, owner of Retro Rocket Comics.

Wilson said they hope to make the event bigger and better each year by possibly renting a larger hall, expanding the horror convention to include more vendors, putting more emphasis on participants’ costumes and to do more advertising to increase awareness.

Overall, Wilson said he’s pretty happy. “There’s not a lot of things in life you get to make your mark with.”

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