PITTSFIELD -- Zombies will once again flood the streets of downtown Pittsfield for World Zombie Day, this year as part of three nights of undead-themed festivities with a charitable aim. The Berkshire County Zombie Action Committee, with support from Bespoke Costuming and other community partners, will host "Zombify Pittsfield" in conjunction with cities around the globe holding similar events around World Zombie Day, Oct. 13. The event will feature a juried art exhibition, zombie prom, zombie movies at the Beacon Cinema, and the group’s third annual Zombie Pub Crawl, all of which will be used to help solicit donations of nonperishable foods for a local food pantry.
Zombify Pittsfield will have a casual attire soft kick off Thursday, Oct. 11, with an opening reception for the ZAC-sponsored group art exhibit "Visual Dead," at 442 North Street. Curated by the ZAC’s Chancellor, artist Autumn Doyle, and hosted by Shawn Curek (aka Shawn the Barber), the show features work by Don Orcutt, Michael Rousseau, Lisa Merullo, Leo Mazzeo, Lisa Ketcham, Edward Pelkey, Palmer Dietrich and Thomas Fahey, exploring social and symbolic themes of life, death, and undeath.
Friday, Oct. 12, a host of downtown taverns will be the scene of the third annual Zombie Pub Crawl, where hundreds of zombies will again descend on a succession of participating locations throughout the evening. The Beacon Cinema
Family-friendly zombie thrills are on tap at Beacon Cinema, Saturday, Oct. 13, with a $5 showing of Corpse Bride at 3:30 p.m. Popcorn is free at both Beacon zombie movies with a donation of nonperishable foods.
At 8:30 p.m. the festivities will conclude with an action-packed Zombie Prom in the upstairs banquet room at Spice Dragon. All the kitsch of a high school prom will collide with an ambiance of monsters and mayhem, with entertainment by DJ BFG and VJ B-17 Bomber, and will also feature zombie glamour shots, cash bar and the final balloting for the committee’s own election of officers, with the results to be announced at midnight. Ticket price is $8, or $5 with a donation of two or more nonperishable food items.
This year’s festivities will also feature an expansion of one of its most popular event features, that of providing full zombification makeup services for interested participants.
Makeup stations will be set up at three locations around downtown prior to Friday night’s events to serve the growing demand for walking dead salon services: Dotties Coffee Lounge, Beacon Cinema, and Bespoke Costuming on First Street. A suggested donation of $4 or four nonperishable food items is requested for anyone wishing to have their makeup done by the ZAC’s team of experts. Makeup stations will be open from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.
"From the Silver Screen to the CDC’s publicity department, the zombie theme is huge," said DA Chaney, acclaimed zombie author and Lanesboro native, who serves as a spokesperson for the group. "ZAC is tapping into that popular interest and trying to use it to do some good in the community, and incorporate some demographics that might not be as likely to be reached by more traditional charitable initiatives."
The local committee gained international media attention from Miami to the Phillipines earlier this year after being the first to investigate and debunk a "zombie virus" hoax that had circulated among m\illions of internet users in June, and were personally thanked for their diligence on this public safety issue by Pittsfield City Councilor John Krol.
For more info: SurviveBerkshires. wordpress.com.