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Downtown Lodi to be transformed into zombie haven

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Posted: Friday, October 21, 2011 8:01 am

Want to look as ugly as you can and be proud of it? 

How about dressing as the walking dead, complete with blood spurting across your face, gray makeup and black clothing while parading over Downtown Lodi?

And don’t forget special children’s activities, a “pub crawl” for adults who wish to imbibe, a zombie-style burlesque show, seeing a spooky midnight movie and dancing to the Michael Jackson classic, “Thriller.”

These are some of the activities planned for the Lodi Zombie Walk on Oct. 29. Walk organizer Tom Presler recommends that visitors park in the Downtown parking garage at Pine and Sacramento streets, next to the railroad tracks, and walk north to Elm Street. Then walk west on Elm about a half-block to the Zombie Walk entrance.

Not all activities will begin at a specific time. The evening will kick off with a group dance of “Thriller.” The public is welcome to participate.

The Downtown walk will begin at 8:30 or 9 p.m., the pub crawl will start at about 9:30 and the burlesque show — for adults only — will start in the 10:30 range. But starting times are flexible.

Presler says on the event’s Facebook page, “This is Zombie Walk, not a Delta Airlines flight ... Zombie Walk events are never about telling you what to do or where to go every moment of the event. We find that boring.”

If you go Downtown, you can’t help but find the Zombie Walk. Just look for some really strange-looking people.

Come with an empty stomach, too. There will be a zombie cake the size of a round kitchen table, with frosting that looks like brains sticking out of it, Presler said.

The creator of the zombie cake wants to remain anonymous until the day of the actual Zombie Walk, Presler said, because he’s experimenting with the theme.

Presler conducted the first Zombie Walk in Lodi last year, basically to promote the idea that you can have a lot of fun in Lodi. And that they did.

Last year, festivities began with Patricia Moore leading participants in dancing to “Thriller” while looking as ugly as possible. After that, zombies paraded south along the sidewalks of Sacramento Street, then north on School Street. They even took a detour and paraded through Lodi Beer Co. The beer pub will be part of the itinerary this year, too.

As happy as Presler was about the success of the inaugural Zombie Walk, he didn’t want to produce a clone of the same event this year. Hence the ugly zombie cake, the burlesque show, midnight movie and other events.

He’s conducted planning meetings each Tuesday for anyone interested in helping out with this year’s Zombie Walk.

And while the idea is to have as much fun as possible while scaring the daylights out of each other, the Lodi Zombie Walk is a fundraiser supporting American troops in the Middle East. Half the proceeds will go toward care packages, while the other half will go toward sustaining the Lodi Zombie Club, Presler said.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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