The inaugural Phoenix Zombie Fest will be at Rawhide at Wild Horse Pass this Sunday, Oct. 24, and will benefit St. Mary's Food Bank of Arizona.

The first ever Phoenix Zombie Fest will feature a one-mile walk-a-thon, zombie beauty pageant and raffle. The event will kick-off at 6 p.m. with the zombie walk-a-thon at the Sonoran Lawn at Rawhide, 5700 W. North Loop Road. There is a $20 registration fee to participate in the zombie walk, and children under 5 are free. Zombie walk attendees can also sign up to be included in the zombie pageant later in the evening.

Participants are being asked to arrive in their best zombie attire, but just incase their outfits are lacking a little gore, there will also be a "zombify" station and for a donation they will assist you in making you look your zombie best.

Christine Heintz, founder/coordinator of Phoenix Zombie Fest, said she is very excited to be doing something for charity, and knows that this will not be a boring event.

"I'm hoping we can raise a lot of money for St. Mary's," Heintz said, adding that it doesn't take a lot for someone to dress up as a zombie - a few ripped clothes and a little blood- and that this event is an inexpensive way to celebrate the Halloween spirit.

According to the Phoenix Zombie Fest, zombies can be any age and any type of person, i.e. housewife, business man, vagabond, cheerleader, football player, etc., but just remember to keep it appropriate because this is an all ages event.

Event-goers are invited to make their way through Rawhide's "Monster Midway," which will include scary monsters and family friendly activities. Join the "Undead Uniting to Feed the Hungry" at the Sonoran Lawn to take part in the evenings festivities. The zombie beauty pageant will be start at 7:15 p.m. and will feature zombies of all ages.

The raffle will be after the walk and will feature various prizes. Tickets for the raffle are $2 each, or in exchange for two cans of non-perishable food.

Heintz said that with this being the first year for the zombie walk, she is unsure of how many people will come out for the event. She is hoping that roughly 500 people will attend.

"I'm hoping it will be great," Heintz said, adding that the event is being conducted in the spirit of pure volunteerism, which she hopes will inspire others to participate and help give back to the community.

"We have our spirit, which we hope is infectious in getting everyone involved," she said.

Registration fees and donations will all benefit St. Mary's Food Bank of Arizona. St. Mary's warehouse in west Phoenix, 3131 W. Thomas Road, was recently damaged by the strong storm that hit the Valley a few weeks ago. Hail from the storm put holes in the building's skylights, letting rainwater in that destroyed a substantial portion of the food supply.

The Phoenix Zombie Fest is also offering a $5 off discount for registration to Ahwatukee Foothills News readers for mentioning this article at the sign-up booth.

To learn more about the Phoenix Zombie Fest or to register for the event, check out their website at

Chelsea Brown is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a senior at Arizona State University.



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