By Blake Belden, Staff Writer
Oct 9, 2013, 14:56
BLAKE BELDEN/HOPEWELL NEWS/NEWS-PATRIOT People dressed up as zombies walk down Sycamore Street in Petersburg as part of a fundraiser for Rebuilding Together Tri-Cities. The group walked from Poplar Lawn Park to Petersburg Area Art League.
PETERSBURG — Dozens of people dressed up as the undead roamed through downtown Petersburg on Saturday, moaning and growling at bystanders with outstretched arms and bloodied shirts as they trudged down Sycamore Street.
It was the Petersburg Zombie Walk, an approximately 10-block zombified excursion from the Poplar Lawn Park to the Petersburg Area Art League building, in which participants migrated down the roped off sidewalk during the middle of the afternoon as if they were the living dead.
The event was organized through 29 Promotions, as a precursor to a zombie survival arena event at the Virginia Motorsports Park later this month, and the proceeds went to Rebuilding Together Tri-Cities, a nonprofit organization that provides charitable renovations and repairs to homes and neighborhoods in need.
Bill Slaughter, who organized the zombie walk, said that 29 Promotions chose RT-TC as a way to support the “amazing work” they do.
Slaughter had no particular expectations for the zombie walk, just that people show up to support the community and have a fun time doing something that had never previously occurred in Petersburg.
Laura Crocker, 25, has lived in Petersburg her whole life and had never heard of anything like this before.
“I saw it on a friend’s Facebook. It looked really cool. I said ‘Why not?’” Crocker said while waiting for the walk to begin at the Poplar Lawn Park.
Crocker’s zombie outfit consisted of an old T-shirt from college, fake blood from the Dollar Tree and baby powder.
Grant Lim and several other members of the Basic Officer Leadership Class at Fort Lee showed up on Saturday to provide volunteer services for the event.
Lim said he saw a post for the event online, and contacted Slaughter directly to see what kind of help they could offer.
“It’s zombies. Where do you go wrong with zombies?” Lim said, explaining his enthusiasm for the event.
BLAKE BELDEN/HOPEWELL NEWS/NEWS-PATRIOT People dressed up as zombies in Petersburg on Saturday as part of a fundraiser for Rebuilding Together Tri-Cities.
Participants were required to follow a set of rules that included not touching passerbys on the street, restricting use of real weapons as part of a costume and “be[ing] the best zombie you can be.” Petersburg police officers were on site to ensure safety of all participants and onlookers.
The walk ended at the Petersburg Area Art League Building where there was outdoor music, food and games for people to hang out and enjoy the afternoon.