Walking, lurking and crawling, the undead will take over the streets of Fergus Falls once again. For the ninth year, the Fergus Falls Zombie Crawl will bring people of all ages together to dress up in their spookiest attire, walk the downtown streets and participate in a gathering of zombies accompanied by music at The Spot to cap off the evening on Oct. 7.

“It has really progressed. The first year we started with one location and one cover band that played three songs, twice. And people love it,” Dominic Facio, the director/producer of the Zombie Crawl, said.

Facio started the crawl with the goal of bringing something fresh and new to the Fergus Falls community, and do it with something he’s passionate about.

“Everyday is Halloween for me. I live it. Now I get to blow it out of proportion every year to kick off October,” Facio said.

Through the years, he’s seen people bringing their children in strollers to the event as well as grandparents. Halloween has no age limit to enjoy the season, and neither do zombie crawls.

The crawl will start at the Old Flour Mill parking lot behind Service Foods at 5:30 p.m. The route will go to Shopko and then head to the other side of the street and end at The Spot, where the entertainment will begin and festive drinks will be served for thirsty zombies.

The Snapdragons will start their music set at around 6 p.m., when the zombies will arrive at The Spot. Following the Snapdragons will be DJ sets by Plebian, Cleant Up and DomFreq. A mix of popular, experimental, electronic and spooky music will be played throughout the evening.

New this year, and with the help of funding from the Lake Region Arts Council (LRAC), there will be Zombie Crawl t-shirts for sale at The Spot. Facio is putting together a blood spatter station for those who want to spice up their t-shirts a little bit.

“It’s kind of a demonic take on tie dye so I’m excited to see that demonstrated,” Facio said.

Overall, Facio said he’s had mostly positive feedback from the community about the annual crawl.

“It’s really just trying to give back to the community,” Facio said.

He relayed a story of a mother with kids in the car stopping at the Old Flour Mill to ask what was going on. When he told her about the Zombie Crawl, she said, “I’ll be back in 10 minutes,” and sure enough, came back with her kids dressed as little zombies to join in the fun.

It may come as a surprise to learn that Facio wasn’t always into the spooky stuff,

“I used to be a scaredy-cat,” Facio said. Kids’ imaginations aren’t always the best at disassociating scary things on TV from reality, so it wasn’t until Facio became interested in the behind the scenes work that he found his love for the scary. He would watch how ideas came to fruition through effects and thought, ‘I can do something like this.’

Facio has improved his own makeup work since beginning the Zombie Crawl, and it’s been exciting for him to see what all the other participants have come up with.

“One thing I like is that each individual that participates is part of the entertainment,” Facio said.

Each person brings with them their own creativity and inspiration, and the crawl gives them the opportunity to meet others with similar interests and be able to share tips and tricks if they so wish.

“I want people to have the inspiration to push their boundaries and creativity and not to settle for what looks OK,” Facio said.

Most importantly, Facio wants the Zombie Crawl to continue to be a fun, immersive event that all are welcome to attend. A participant doesn’t need to be a professional effects artist to come out and have a good time. How into it or how elaborate a person gets is completely up to them.

“Just do your thing. It’ll be cool because you’re doing your thing, and it’s not about competing with others,” Facio said.

The Zombie Crawl is a free event to attend, but a freewill donation will be available at The Spot for those who wish to contribute to keeping the Zombie Crawl event alive. All the donations will go toward next year’s Zombie Crawl. All ages are welcome to attend the crawl and the entertainment until 9 p.m. After 9 p.m., it will be ages 18 and up. For more information, visit Fergus Falls Zombie Crawl 2017 on Facebook.

This year’s event was made possible in part by the voters of Minnesota through grants from LRAC, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

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