It will probably be the only time Kerri Milton hopes for a mob of brain-eating undead to lumber down Main Street.
The Downtown Penticton Association is presenting the first Zombie Walk and Costume Parade, inviting people of all ages, and their dogs, to dress up and show off their Halloween best. There is no fee or registration required, just show up and participate.
“We wanted to do a Day of the Dead which is Nov. 1 and celebrates Spanish heritage, but after talking to merchants everyone wanted to do it on Halloween. We started kicking around ideas and with the TV show Walking Dead being so popular and places like Calgary and Vancouver doing zombie walks we thought why not Penticton?” said Milton, executive director of the Downtown Penticton Association.
Those who love Halloween, but aren’t dressing up, are also invited to check out the parade, a haunted house at Voodoo’s to walk through, face-painting for kids and a psychic fair in front of Hooked On Books.
Numerous prizes will be handed out to those dressing up in different costume categories including best zombie, best angel or fairy, best ninja or athlete, best princess, best witch, most beautiful costume, best hand-made costume and best dog in costume.
“We have a ton of businesses giving out prizes for costumes. People don’t have to just be zombies, there are prizes for a variety of costumes and we want all ages coming out,” said Milton.
Businesses will have their carved pumpkins on display and the public is invited to vote on their favourite. While perusing the pumpkins, Milton said those dressed up can do trick or treating in the stores.
The parade will start to gather on Main Street at Nanaimo Avenue at 4 p.m. and begin walking at 4:30 p.m. The route will end on Front Street, where judging will take place and prizes will be handed out in addition to face painting, live music from Mat Duffus and Chef Hong Lac at the Wild Scallion will be concocting creepy foods for sale by donation.