Story and photos by Susan Mikula Campbell
Zombie Fest is your chance to don a spooky costume, scare a few people and get some shivers yourself. Bring your pooch in costume, too. After all, funds raised at this event will benefit the animals at the SPCA of Niagara.
Admission is free at this pre-Halloween party taking place from 2 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, on the SPCA grounds at 2100 Lockport Road, Wheatfield.
The dog and children's events are scheduled in the afternoon.
This includes the Zombie Dog Walk at 3 p.m., a pumpkin contest (bring your own pumpkin, pre-carved or carve on site), pet costume contest, fishing in the Slime Pond and more.
"It will be scary after 6 p.m.," warns SPCA of Niagara Executive Director Andrew Bell.
Ghoulish fun for the more adult crowd starts at 6 p.m., such as the "brain" eating contest, the scariest scream contest and a zombie walk.
"Zombie Elvis will be performing if we can find him," Bell said.
Some Zombie events will be free (although donations are gladly accepted). Others have charges, such as the Haunted Barn and Graveyard Tour for $5 or the 20-minute hayrides showcasing many live action extras for $10.
Zombie Fest also will feature a huge basket raffle, bake sale and food and drink vendors, plus the Niagara County Fireman's Chili Cook-off. Representatives of the firehouses in Niagara Falls, Lockport and Frontier Volunteer Fire Co. in Wheatfield already have signed up for the cook-off and more are expected to sign up by Saturday.
Bell said probably 100 volunteers are involved in the various aspects of Zombie Fest, ranging from off-duty police officers to a Niagara University frat house to Rite Aid employees doing it as community service. All the SPCA staff also will be involved in making this first and hopefully annual fundraising event a success, so no kennel tours will be held on Saturday.
For more information on the Zombie Fest and the SPCA of Niagara, go online at www.niagaraspca.org or call 716-731-4368.