Issaquah will be taken over by the undead this weekend. The 10th annual Zombie Walk is Oct. 26.
Downtown will be filled with hundreds of decked out zombies parading down Front Street among hundreds more spectators, peering in shop windows and spooking passersby. The whole community is invited to come out, dress up, walk around town, and dance a “Thriller” flash mob at City Hall as part of this free, all ages event.
One of the event founders, Tom Gotuzzo, said this all started when several families came together wanting to have some fun. Now sponsored by the Downtown Issaquah Association, this creepy crawl draws multitudes every year.
He said the founding families — the Gotuzzos, the Henrys, the Kovacs, the Munsons and the Dinkles — were inspired after watching movies. Their kids were little at the time.
“We just thought, how cool would it be to get all our kids together to cruise downtown Issaquah, decorate ourselves all up in zombie gear and have some fun?” he said. “I’m pleasantly surprised at how well it’s been received. It’s been fun to watch it grow.”
He noted that a range of ages participate annually — zombies young and old, fresh and extra dead, even moms with strollers. He encourages anyone to participate regardless of costume skills or dance abilities.
He usually dons a bow tie in addition to his makeup and ghoulish costume, referring to himself as “head zombie.” He said their team focuses on bringing the community together and even has a zombie float in the Salmon Days parade.
“It’s a good time. If you don’t know the dance, it’s OK. Just come up and have fun,” he said. “It’s all about the community having fun together.”
Gotuzzo estimates about 800 people attended last year, with about 30 percent actually in costume. Many attendees unexpectedly get transformed into zombies by the end.
The day kicks off at the Historic Shell Station with zombie makeup from 1:30-4:30 p.m. Participants can dress up on their own, or come early and pay $10 to have their makeup done by one of several artists.
Gotuzzo recommends people sign up if wanting to help on the big day because spots will fill up. He said about 300 people had their faces painted by their makeup artists last year.
From 2:30-4:30 p.m., dance instructors will teach anyone interested the dance from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and the “Time Warp” dance from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
The actual crawl takes place from 4:30-5 p.m., terrifying towngoers, and ends at City Hall for the big dance from 5-5:30 p.m.
Prizes will be awarded for best costumes in several categories. Additionally, several local businesses will participate by having discounted and thematic beverages and treats for sale along the way.