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Zombie outbreak lurches through downtown Buckhannon

BUCKHANNON – Buckhannon was the source of a zombie outbreak this week.

Buckhannon’s first Zombie Walk featured children ages 12 and under on Monday and another walk Tuesday was for ages 13 and up. Zombies convened at the Colonial Theater and donated a $5 fee to participate as a fundraiser for the renovation of the historic theater. Participants were asked to come in costume but could also take advantage of several Wesleyan students who volunteered to do their makeup for free.

The walk started at the theater and lumbered down Traders Alley, ending at Jawbone Park, where awards were distributed in six categories: people’s choice, best costume, best makeup, best props, originality and best zombie movement and sounds.

Buckhannon mayor David McCauley said several Wesleyan students embraced the idea and showed up for the older zombie walk.

“Anytime you get 50 or 60 Wesleyan students downtown, that’s a good outcome,” McCauley said. “We partnered with three of the local eateries downtown to help sponsor it — Stone Tower Brews, The Social and The Whistle Stop — so if you’ve got proof of your being one of our accredited, participating zombies, you get discounts on a drink at each place.”

Overall, more than 75 zombies participated over the two days.

“All proceeds from the sale of the T-shirts go to the theater,” McCauley said. “The idea was to have fun, and if we turn it into yet another over-the-top fundraiser to generate another grand or two for the old theater renovation, so much better.”

At the end of the night McCauley said the events raised about $1,000 for the renovation of the Colonial Theater.

Wesleyan West Virginia College professor Greg Popovich helped judge the zombies as they lurched from the theater to Jawbone Park.

“I support the concept of keeping Buckhannon weird, and I’ll support any kind of initiative that makes the city distinctive and brings people together,” Popovich said. “In this case, it is also supporting a worthy cause, being the restoration of the theater.”

Participant Hunter Wilfong prepared his zombie ensemble by dousing clothes in homemade fake blood made with canola oil and red food coloring. He said he heard about the event through his professor.

“It helps the community through donating to the Colonial Theater, and it was also a good incentive through from my class because I got extra credit,” Wilfong said

Dylan Adamy won the best makeup award Tuesday.

“I just like dressing up like a zombie, and I also like to go hang out with people at local establishments and I think it’s good for the community,” Adamy said. “The T-shirts they’re selling here are going back to the theater, so it’s nice to give back and get to dress up like a zombie.”

Tre Gully and Marcus Newton, winners of the People’s Choice award
Dylan Adamy and Hanna Reger
Kristy Henson, winner of best costume

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