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Do not be alarmed by a sudden outbreak of zombies strutting around downtown Sioux City. These familiar members of the undead aren’t wandering around aimlessly in search of brains -- they’re just participants in Siouxland’s latest zombie walk.

Organized by the Disabilities Research Center (DRC) of Siouxland, the Zombie Walk begins at 2 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 14) in the Commerce Building atrium, 520 Nebraska St.

In addition to serving as a fundraiser for the 32-year-old agency, DRC executive director Don Dew said the event is split into two activities: the family friendly Zombie Walk and the 21-and-over Blood Crawl. The latter is essentially a zombie-inspired pub crawl.

“When we were thinking of a fundraiser, it kind of just went into my head,” said Dew. “We tried to find a fundraiser that is something different than what everybody else has. We want people to know that we’re raising funds for the programming we do to help keep people in the community.

“And, I guess, one way of showing that is with a bunch of zombies walking around town.”

The DRC Zombie Walk and Blood Crawl are unaffiliated with the Siouxland Zombie Walk, which was a similar event allowing locals to dress up as the living dead and traverse Historic Fourth Street.

“It’s not affiliated but we did ask their permission because it has been a couple years,” said Dew. “They had not been able to keep going with it.”

Organizers managed to secure 12 bars to participate in the Blood Crawl. Zombified guests will travel to each establishment in hordes to try out zombie-inspired drinks or shots.

Bars lending their services include: Firehouse Bar, Bodega 410, Buffalo Alice, Doxx Warehouse Bar, Bergie’s Bar, The Blue Ribbon Tap (PBR), The Diving Elk, The Marquee, Crash! Boom! Bang! Whiskey Hole, 21st Amendment Bar & Kitchen, Work & Church Booze Parlor and McCarthy & Bailey’s Irish Pub.

“We have it where people can come to a certain bar for a half hour, so it’s kind of scheduled where people will be,” said Dew. “They’ll get a ticket that shows each of the bars and have a map on a back with each of the times.”

Bartenders will be required to initial or mark off their respected establishment when Blood Crawl guests have received their signature drink. Blood Crawl begins at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets cost $20.

Although the Blood Crawl will attract an adult crowd, the Zombie Walk is available for everyone to take part in. For a $5 fee, the walking dead are then permitted to join downtown walk and also have a chance to win prizes for their wardrobe and makeup work.

Organizers divided the winners into five prize categories: Top Zombie, Most Classic Zombie, Best Celebrity/Pop Icon Male and Female (fiction, non-fiction, pop culture, political, historical, Sioux City History, etc.), Best Gore-Blood & Guts, Best Child Zombie (ages 12 and under).

Prizes include a car detail by Ford valued at $250, free pizza for a year at Pizza Ranch, sessions from Evolve Yoga and Wellness, hair care products from Cost Cutters and gift certificates from places like Koated Kernels and Sugar Shack among others.

Dew said he was pleased and impressed by the number of local businesses participating in the DRC’s first year organizing its Zombie Walk.

“I think that’s wonderful!” he said. “Talking to the bars and everyone and getting their support shows a sense of community – it shows what Sioux City is all about.”

All proceeds from the Zombie Walk and Blood Crawl will go towards the Disabilities Resource Center of Siouxland. Dew hopes the event brings awareness to the non-profit, non-residential, consumer-driven organization whose mission is deeply rooted in the philosophy of independent living.

“It also will give people with disabilities a chance to do something totally different,” said Dew. “It’s bridging that gap [and] solidifying our place in Sioux City.”

So does Dew have his zombie outfit picked out yet? “Almost -- it’s to be determined,” he said. “I’ll be dressed up but I don’t have everything ready. I have some blood and guts, but that’s it.”

What more does a zombie need, really?

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Weekender reporter

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