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Zombies invade Downtown Lodi

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Lodi Zombie Walk from Cyndy Green on Vimeo.

Posted: Sunday, October 30, 2011 11:43 am | Updated: 7:31 pm, Tue Nov 1, 2011.

Downtown Lodi was filled with people who resembled the living dead.

After all, that was the theme Saturday night as the second annual Lodi Zombie Walk provided revelry, a special zombie cake, dancing to the Michael Jackson classic "Thriller," a sometimes racy burlesque show and a midnight zombie movie.

"Why, that's mighty good brains," Zombie Walk organizer Tom Presler said as he grabbed some frosting resembling brains from cake delivered to a Downtown alley.

While many played the traditional zombie part, others just went out to do some first-class people-watching.

"I came all the way from Walnut Creek," said Julaine Moore, who was seated with some friends outside Rosewood restaurant.

Lodi resident Teri Spring said she brought five people to Rosewood, where several empty drink classes were on their table. They didn't dress in Halloween garb, but they enjoyed what they saw.

Before the Zombie Walk, festivities were held in an extremely crowded alley east of School Street between Pine and Elm streets. They included the zombie cake filled with ugly brains and detached fingers.

There was a graveyard with tombstones of people like Ace Ventura, Freddy Krueger, Alfred Hitchcock and, in the spirit of the Oakland Raiders, the late Al Davis and Gene Upshaw. It was a perfect location for zombies to pose for photos.

Presler conducted a costume contest, and Patricia Moore led a dance of the Michael Jackson hit "Thriller" before zombies headed to School Street to start their walk through town.

One of the major revelers was Mara Byrne, of Lodi, who brought three Galt friends, Vicki, Andres and Amanda Ramos. All had faces caked with blood and gruesome black stitches. Byrne was busy giving out black roses.

Presler, dressed in a monk's outfit and derby hat, told the crowd that the Zombie Walk was about the arts, individualism, freedom and supporting small, local businesses.

"We're here to support our troops and vets," Presler said.

And if it wasn't Presler making the necessary announcements, it was "Miss Zombrella," who in real life is Billy Dee Herrera, costume designer for Costumes in Lodi. Herrera was dressed as a rather big-boned woman as he talked in a husky voice.

The emcee for the late-night burlesque show as also a man dressed as a woman. He wouldn't give his name, but his stage name was Nicky.

The burlesque show at Last Call on Sacramento Street didn't have any seating unless you showed up early and took a seat at the bar. The show, almost an hour long, got more risqué toward the end as the women ended up topless except for pasties.

The evening ended with a midnight movie at the American Legion Hall, and Downtown bars continued with special zombie drinks until the 2 a.m. closing time.

Presler plans to continue to make the zombie walk an annual event, and announced plans to have a St. Patrick's Day next year.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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  • Chris Wallace posted at 10:07 pm on Mon, Oct 31, 2011.

    Chris Wallace Posts: 32

    I was really looking forward to the Zombie Walk. A few of us looked at the paper, saw the approximate time it would start, and planned our dinner at Angelos around it. It was fun seeing zombies sitting in the restaurant eating. I have to admit- the grotesque zombies that greeted me- in character- gave me the creeps. I loved it. We then joined the crowds of people who gathered at the 4 corners of the intersection of the restaurant and theater. Unfortunately, that was the hilight of the experience.

    We kept waiting. Patiently. The clock ticked well past the latest of approximate times. I asked a zombie pedestrian if they were a part of the walk, and if it was going to start soon. She was an official participant, but she wasn't sure when it would start. However, she knew enough that it was in a nearby alley.

    That alley was where everything was happening, and the people on the streetcorners who were waiting for it all was missing it all. It wasn't until an hour after their own timeframe before the walk started.

    That masses of people filed out of the alley onto School street, but it wasn't until it was about half over when it was realized that this was the "Zombie Walk"- however you wouldn't know it since it was populated with average joes, characters other than zombies and zombies who didn't behave like zombies.

    It seems to me that if you want to put on a Zombie Walk, then it should be zombies walking. If it's going to be a random costume event with zombie make-up, then call it a Halloween event and call it done.

    It was quoted in the Sentinel that the zombie walk wasn't an airlines because maintaing a schedule was boring. You know what's even more boring? Standing on a School Street corner waiting for something to happen.

    If organized better, it would be a better event for everyone to witness.

  • Bob Bechill posted at 5:22 pm on Mon, Oct 31, 2011.

    Bob Bechill Posts: 41

    Pesky Zombies gave me the Willies!

  • Ross Farrow posted at 5:15 pm on Sun, Oct 30, 2011.

    Ross Farrow Posts: 104

    We had four articles in the Lodi News-Sentinel on 10/22 and a smaller one on Friday 10/28. We had the zombie walk website and Facebook page listed in our paper and this website both weeks.

  • Steve Anderson posted at 2:29 pm on Sun, Oct 30, 2011.

    Just Steve Posts: 2

    I wish I would have known about it! Sounds like fun. :(



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