Culture shock

By Rich Tupica

Organizers hope to wake E.L. with undead

The two local men hosting this weekend’s "Zombie Day East Lansing” hope to attract hundreds of zombie-dressed ghouls for a march through downtown this Saturday, May 16, which is coincidentally (or not) the same weekend as the East Lansing Art Fair.

Festivities start at noon and run into the night. Organizers of the walk promise it will be “the creepiest thing you’ve ever seen in E.L.”

Zombie Day was conceived by LCC student Will Dunlap, 22, and Ted Wilson, 28, owner of Replay Entertainment Exchange, a CD, vinyl record and gaming store in downtown East Lansing.

All zombies are asked to sign in at noon at Replay, 319 E. Grand River Ave. At that time, the exact location of the zombie march (which starts at dusk) will be disclosed.

Participants are also asked to bring a can of food for the Greater Lansing Food Bank and sign a waiver promising not to bite or grab anyone during the walk.

By nightfall, Wilson said zombies will march the strip in East Lansing. Dunlap and Wilson hope the event will act as an adrenaline shot to a city they think is growing tired. “With this event, ‘zombies’ is such a good word, because it’s like we’re stuck around all of these cultural zombies,” Wilson said. “East Lansing used to be a way cooler place 10 years ago. I feel it’s our responsibility to shock this place.”

Dunlap said as far as festivals and events go, the city of East Lansing ignores the interests of the high school and college demographic. “The fact is, this is a college town full of young people and young ideas,” Dunlap said. “People here are very artsy and creative, and East Lansing has abandoned us. Of all the younger people I know, I don’t know one person excited for the Art Fair. I’m sure there are a lot of wonderful people who attend, but it‘s not for young people,” Dunlap said.

So could hundreds of blood-thirsty zombies crash the art fair? Time will tell. “Thirty-thousand people are coming out for the East Lansing Art Fair, and if we have 500 zombies walking around, what would people think?” asked Wilson with a grin.

To get participants feeling undead, Replay is also hosting some pre-walk activities. Starting at 11:30 a.m., DJ Rob Perry will spin records in front of the shop window (dressed as a zombie, of course) while participants sign in. At 5 p.m. local band Ouch! Me Arse will perform a free concert at the store, along with Texas Prison Rodeo (Ann Arbor) and Scared to Death, a one man band.

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