Did you see the undead marching across Danbury Saturday?
Those decaying corpses were actually members of WXCI, Western Connecticut State University’s student-run radio station. They proceeded from the Midtown Campus Quad to the Heirloom Arts Theatre on a “Zombie Walk,” dripping blood and attracting stares.
“The idea came up because zombies are a big trendy thing,” said WXCI Faculty Advisor Tom Zarecki. “But this is the first time in history zombies will be observing all known traffic laws.”
Waiting for the zombies at their destination was a convention they put together, mainly aimed at high school students, to raise awareness about the recent budget cuts and the state of public education in Connecticut. In typical WXCI fashion, local bands played sets to entertain humans and zombies alike.
“[WXCI General Manager] Zack [Foster] told me that he wanted to a Zombie Walk, and I said I think that’s a great idea, but we need to have a purpose or a cause or it’s not going to work,” said WXCI Promotions Director Carolina Bara. “With the budget cut being such a hot topic, one day it just clicked.”
About 60 people showed up at the quad before the walk, many of them being zombified on the spot. Applying most of the makeup for the event was New Fairfield resident Adam Czarnik, who provided his airbrush services for the radio station pro bono.
“I’ve been doing special effects and makeup for about 14 years now, airbrushing for about seven,” said Czarnik. “Apparently someone was volunteering, and they totally backed out, so I jumped in. No charge, just for the love of zombies.”
WXCI Music Director Jen Lifland also administered makeup for the event, using more traditional paint and fake blood spatter.
“I’m so impressed,” said WXCI member Ben Panzarino, who did a lot of promotion work for the Zombie Walk. “I got here, and people are doing prosthetics, and we have airbrushes going, people are going all out head-to-toe with some really awesome stuff.”
Foster was happy with the turnout, and deemed the event an overall success.
“We wanted to do something fun for the radio station that was a little off-beat,” he said. “I’ve seen it done in bigger cities - New York City, Boston, Philadelphia - and I thought why don’t we do something really cool here, because nothing fun ever happens in Danbury.”