A mob of zombies filled the sidewalks and stopped traffic on Main Street in downtown Lafayette on Friday night.
It was all part of the second-annual ZombAid zombie walk, an event to benefit Food Finders Food Bank. ZombAid was created by Rob Soden and his friend after they read articles about zombie walks that had taken place in other areas. The two decided to make their walk a charitable event and teamed with Food Finders and local businesses to collect canned food throughout October.
This year, the event also joined with Greater Lafayette Commerce to combine ZombAid with Operation Trick-or-Treat, an event that invites children to trick-or-treat at downtown businesses.
Soden said the Greater Lafayette Commerce approached him about combining the two Halloween events.
“They were bringing people downtown anyway, so it made sense to combine the two,” Soden said.
Soden said the event was well-received last year, but this year he thinks more people knew about it and participated. ZombAid collected 760 pounds of food in its first year, but Soden estimated the event collected more than 1,000 pounds of food this year.
“We were weighing it up until 500 pounds, but then it got hard to keep things separate,” Soden said.
Everyone was in the Halloween spirit Friday night. Costumed children danced around as they awaited the mob of zombies carrying ”boxes of brains” (the donated food). Even the members of Broken Light, one of the bands that performed, put on their best zombie faces for the event.
For some, ZombAid proved to be a family affair. Crys Bazan and her daughter Lexi, as well as Guy Hainje and his son Kelsey, participated by dressing up as zombies and making the trek up Main Street.
“I’m obsessed with zombies, and this is for a good cause,” Bazan said.
Bazan, dressed as a zombie crossing guard, and Lexi, a “prom style” zombie, said they got the inspiration for their costumes from the zombie movies they love.
“I think I’ve seen them all,” Bazan said.
ZombAid was a good start to a Halloween filled weekend for the Bazans.
“We’re going to (dress up) three times this weekend,” Bazan said.
A love for Halloween was a common theme not only among the participants of ZombAid, but among its creators as well.
“My wife and I have more Halloween decorations than Christmas in our attic,” Soden said. “(It) is my favorite holiday, by far.”