In 2009, local resident Richie Edwards started a Paducah Zombie Walk. Garrett Dykes attended the walk to film it for a side project as he is an amateur filmmaker. After posting some of the footage online, Edwards saw it and asked if he would make something to promote the walk the following year.
The two struck up a friendship that led to Dykes joining Edwards in promoting and organizing the Paducah Zombie Walk. When Edwards moved away from the area, Dykes volunteered to keep it going.
“I felt Paducah needed to continue having the walk because so many people look forward to it and it was still in its infancy,” Dykes told me. “People look forward to this every year. Families dress up together and have a lot of fun acting as bloodthirsty zombies in public. We help the FSS by collecting non-perishable canned and dry goods.”
Non years later the walk is growing every year. The 2018 Paducah Zombie Walk will be on Saturday, October 13, beginning at 4:30 pm, at 9th Street and Broadway - across the street from Fat Moe’s. Registration and make-up services will begin at 4 pm. You can have your make-up done by “zombie professionals” for a small donation of $3 or some canned food.
Organizers work hard to make this event fun for all ages to attend and participate in. There will even be costume contests for adults and kids.
It’s important to note that costs associated with the Walk are paid for by the organizers. In order for this event to continue and grow, monetary donations are accepted at the Walk.
The number of zombies varies each year but it’s usually between 100 and 200. Two adjunct groups have formed to join the walk - the Anti- Zombie Protestors and the Thriller On Broadway flash mob dancers.
Donations for Family Services Society
This event is a fundraiser for the Family Services Society and organizers are requesting that participants bring a donation of canned foods and other suitable items. Spectators are encouraged to donate as well. “Thriller on Broadway” participants donate $10 for adults, $5 for children under 12.
Here’s what you can donate:
Cereal, spaghetti, canned tuna, peanut butter, canned chicken, meal-in-a-can, boxed potatoes, Ramen noodles, and canned fruit. New or gently used: adult clothing, children’s clothing, plus-sized clothing, undergarments, shoes in all sizes, clothing accessories, plastic hangers, and pant hangers are always appreciated too.
Toiletry items such as shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste, shaving cream, disposable razors, liquid hand soap, household cleaner, and laundry detergent are great donation items as well.
Monetary donations are also needed and will go towards dental needs, utility bills, the food pantry, prescription assistance, clothing, eyeglasses, personal hygiene items, and cleaning supplies - to name a few.
The Anti-Zombie Protestors
Don’t want to be a zombie? The Anti-Zombie Protestors have you covered. This group abides by the slogan “Keep the Dead Dead.” The living are encouraged to bite back by creating your best protest slogan sign and joining the right side in front of the LIVING Arts Center on Broadway. This is a parody protest done in conjunction with the Paducah Zombie Walk.
One of the group’s organizers, Walter Pfeifer-Thompson told me this protest is all in good humor.
“It's basically a satirical protest against the undead hordes to add some extra flavor to the event,” Walter Pfeifer-Thompson told me. “It fosters a fun, good-natured debate and ribbing between the living and the dead. Lots of witty slogans, hilarious signs, and tongue-in-cheek humor!”