Expect plenty of decomposing eye sockets, severed limbs, and maybe even an undead doggie or two when the ninth annual Zombie Walk returns to wreak havoc downtown Thursday evening.
The event is slated to begin at 6 p.m., with participants dressed in their finest zombie attire gathering at South Park. Then, when the sun sets, they'll shuffle north on the east side of Massachusetts Street to Seventh Street before making their way back on the west side of Massachusetts Street.
The “zombies,” of course, aren’t just there to freak out unknowing passersby — they’re also raising money for the Lawrence Humane Society, with all proceeds and collections going toward the organization. (Though, given the level of enthusiasm some folks have lavished on their costumes and makeup in recent years, a few good-natured scares are a definite possibility.)
“It’s kind of like trick-or-treating for grownups, in a way. This is your chance to dress up and participate in that Halloween fun,” says Sally Zogry, executive director of Downtown Lawrence, Inc. “People go all out.”
All ages are welcome to participate in the festivities, which include a costume contest, food and drinks, photo shoots and more. Admittance is free, though “zombies” looking to add some authenticity to their getup can pay extra for a splash of fake blood or an undead makeover from professional makeup artists.
Official Zombie Walk T-shirts and koozies will also be available for purchase.
An afterparty in the “Zombie Safe Zone” next to The Granada Theater and the “Fallout Shelter” inside the Granada’s lounge is set for 7 to 10:30 p.m. This shindig is free, and family-friendly.
If you’re really planning on making an evening of it, the Granada will also stage an 18-and-up performance (you may want to leave the kids at home for this one, unless you’re lax about stripping and raunchy humor) by Lawrence-based Foxy by Proxy burlesque troupe at 10:30 p.m. Tickets for the show, aptly titled “Foxy Zombies,” cost $10 and can be purchased online at www.thegranada.com.
Last year’s Zombie Walk drew more than a thousand “zombies” and revelers to downtown Lawrence, Zogry says. She’s hoping for more this time around.
“Let’s face it — it’s fun to be scared, I think,” says Zogry, who’s made a tradition with her kids of watching zombies pass down Massachusetts Street every year. “And it’s something you can do together with friends and family.”
In other hair-raising news
Looking for even more spooky, kid-friendly things to do this week? You’re in luck.
• Friday marks the debut of the Lawrence Arts Center’s production of “The Boy Who Left Home to Find Out About the Shivers.” Adapted from a classic Brothers Grimm tale, this local staging has transformed the Arts Center’s humble Black Box theater into a creepy haunted house.
The show opens at 7 p.m. Friday and runs through Halloween. Tickets range from $8 to $12, and can be purchased online at www.lawrenceartscenter.org, in person at 940 New Hampshire St. or by calling 843-2787.
• Also on the docket this weekend: AIM Dance Co.’s performance of “The Masque of the Red Death,” slated for Saturday at 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 p.m.
This interactive performance invites audience members to travel from room to room of the Castle Tea Room, 1307 Massachusetts St., as the Edgar Allan Poe tale unfolds, encountering a new dancer — and a new piece of the story — at each stop along the way.