“Zombies” return to old stomping grounds for annual walk

Mainers certainly represented their spooky spirit well this Halloween season. With a plethora of haunted corn mazes, houses, trails and parties, it was hard to avoid having a good time. But even though we had all of this, with the bonus crazed clowns popping up around town, it just was not Halloween until the undead started crawling out from their graves and marching through the streets.

To help keep that tradition alive, the Bangor Zombie Walk hosted its sixth-annual walk this past Saturday.

Over 200 people dressed as zombies gathered at the Bangor Waterfront to partake in games and activities while waiting to be unleashed onto the world. It was not until 4 p.m. that they were able to begin their parade through downtown Bangor, showing off their gruesome guises.

Though there are similar events in other states, the Bangor Zombie Walk is the only one of its kind in Maine. The idea was originally developed by Phil Smith, who not only had an interest in Halloween but the zombie way of life. He thought it would be a new, unique and scary way to bring the community together during this time, as well as a way to have some safe, haunted fun. Not to mention, Halloween and zombies have become an increasingly prominent theme in today’s pop culture, especially through television series such as “The Walking Dead” and “Z Nation.” The walk is now run by one of Smith’s associates.

Each year the Zombie Walk gets bigger and better. In total, the walk lasted about an hour and luckily everyone survived until then with their brains and appendages intact.

“I hosted a zombie Yeaster hunt this past Yeaster [sic],” Smith said. He also stated that he is “looking at doing something in December.”

What makes this event even better is that it not only serves to bring some holiday horror to town, but also as a great way to reach out and get the community interested in helping a good cause. Donations are accepted throughout the course of the Bangor Zombie Walk. Each year those who organize the walk, which also functions as a nonprofit, choose an area or agency in which to donate their raised funds. This year the donations raised by those that participated in the walk, as well as the surrounding community, were donated to the Wounded Warriors Fund, a nonprofit organization that supports injured military veterans and their families.

This walk takes place every year around the same time. It is a great way to spend your Halloween weekend, especially if you have all your zombie gear ready to go and are looking to wear it for more than one spooky night. The Bangor Zombie Walk is open to all ages, so bring your zombie squad and show off your makeup magic. Just be careful that you watch out for your children, if you want to bring them, seeing as many participants are very convincing with their effects. Keep your eyes out for this event next year.

To keep up with any “zombie” events, you can check out the Bangor Zombie Walk Facebook page.

Correction: The role of Mr. Phil Smith and ‘Whiplash’ the clown was subsequently corrected to accurately reflect their participation in this year’s event after the error was identified by concerned parties.

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