Zombie Fest calling the living dead to Old Town this weekend

Old Town will play host to Zombie Fest, a ghoulish festival, for its 8th annual year this weekend, allowing the people of Fort Collins some spooky fun, while giving back to an important organization.

Since the event’s start in 2010, directors have been picking their brains to make the event even bigger and better. This year’s Zombie Fest gives adults and kids alike a smorgasbord of creepy functions to attend just in time for Halloween.

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This year’s event was specifically created to benefit Turning Point, an agency destined to help youths who are battling against behavior, mental health and substance abuse issues. The program strives to give accessible services to those in need in order for them to make better decisions and lead a brighter life.

Creatures of all kinds are preparing to swarm the Old Town Square where they have contests, prizes and music waiting for them, as well as a hefty side of brains on a silver platter.

Turning Point has a whole day of events designed for witches and goblins of all ages to enjoy. Old Town sets the mood giving those brave enough to venture chances to win monstrous prizes all day and night. In between they will offer several events that all can attend if you have the guts. They include the Kidz Krawl, Odell Zombie Beer Garden and the chilling Zombie Crawl.

The Kidz Krawl screams for all children 2-12 to come out to try and turn citizens white with fright for the first time. If the mini ghouls decided they aren’t scary enough, amazing artists Evil John Mays and Juiced on Imagination can transform into the terrifying undead. Prizes can vary depending on if the little ones want the minimum about of gore or full on Chucky realness. There are stops along the way, and with a purchase of ticket, a wristband allows kids get to choose from five stops to receive special gifts.

The Odell Zombie Beer Garden highlights the companies newest and best brews, allowing some zombies to taste some fresh hops before warming up their best growls for the main event of the night: The Zombie Crawl.

The main crawl, scheduled to last at least four hours, has an ever expanding crawl stop list. The wristband included with the ticket, allows up to five different specials from over 50 vendors in Old Town, from the Downtown Artery to Ragstock.

All of the entertainment on the Old Town Stage is open to all of public free of charge. All proceeds made from the event are donated directly to Turning Point at the end of the full moon.

Paul Christenson, development director at Turning Point and supervisor of the Zombie Fest, explained how the participation of the various businesses make the event really come together.

“The community of businesses in Old Town have truly embraced the event,” Christensen said. “They are awesome to work with and the core of the event. Their generous donation of products to the crawl participants is how we raise money from the event.”

Christenson also stressed attendance at the crawl, explaining that philanthropic projects like this are more than just donations.

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“Our fundraising events provide direct funding for our programs in addition to providing outreach and exposure about Turning Point as an agency,” Christensen said.

The crawl allows people of Fort Collins to get into the Halloween mood while giving Turning Point the funds the group needs to expand their reach to any and every youth and their families.

Old Town’s Halloween Zombie Fest opens at 2 p.m starting at the Old Town Square on Saturday, Oct. 22. For more haunting information on crawl stops, event times and ticket purchasing, visit their website www.oldtownzombie.com, Facebook and Twitter, or sign up for their Zombie Fest News subscription online.

Beg, borrow or steal brains of all kind to go to this hair-raising fundraiser, or the zombies will find you.