PARAGOULD — The zombie apocalypse has not begun. But patrons of downtown Paragould may think that is the case next weekend when zombies take over Main Street.
According to Gina Jarrett, executive director of Main Street Paragould, the town’s first ever Zombie Walk will take place Oct. 27.
"We’ve been talking about it for two years and decided to do it," Jarrett said.
Jarrett said participation would be open to any adult or child. The cost for an adult to take part in the walk is $3, while children 12 years and under may participate for only $1. Registration begins at 6:30 p.m. and the walk will commence at 7:30.
The funds collected would benefit the community, Jarrett said.
"It benefits Main Street Paragould," Jarrett said. "This will help us do other things throughout downtown."
Leisa Rae, social media director for the Zombie Walk, said the event would likely have a large turnout.
"Currently, we have 561 Facebook fans," Rae said. "If we get half of that, we will be extremely satisfied."
With such a large number of zombies flooding downtown, Rae said zombie control would be important.
"We’re going to have a few officers there to handle crowd control," she said.
Rae said individuals who journey downtown should expect to see the unexpected.
"Don’t freak out because it’s not the end of the world...yet," Rae said.
Local businesses are taking part in the Zombie Walk, as well.
"Red Goose Deli will have the Blood Red Room ready for zombies after 6:30," she said. "Several downtown restaurants said they will welcome zombies."
Jarrett said she was aware that some residents did not agree with the zombie-themed event taking place next weekend. Some had even voiced that disagreement in public forums. She had a message for those individuals.
"Don’t come downtown that night," Jarrett said. "There are movies that are shown and events in this community that I don’t support, so I don’t participate."
But for anyone looking for a spooky event as a way to celebrate Halloween, Jarrett said all were welcome.
"It’s a great way to get the community involved in a Halloween celebration," she said.
Jarrett did stress that there would be rules enforced for zombie revelers.
"Don’t scare people, no banging on cars and stay on the route," Jarrett said. "And no weapons unless they are obviously fake."
Rae said the route would take zombies along a path from Centennial Park up to Main Street and then back behind Red Goose Deli, before going up Pruett Street and back to the park.
After the walk, Jarrett said, an inflatable movie screen would be set up in the parking lot adjacent to Red Goose for a showing of "Night of the Living Dead."
While Jarrett would not commit to wearing anything more than zombie face makeup, she said she was looking forward to the event.
"It will be fun to watch and listen," Jarrett said. "But I won’t have chunks of rotting flesh falling off of me."