Zombies overrun downtown for annual 'Thriller' bash

Saturday, October 6, 2012 - 7:00am

Zombies will invade downtown Baton Rouge tonight. Don’t worry, it’s not because of bath salts. Rather, this will be a family-fun activity that will certainly be a “thriller” for all who attend.

“We have a 5K fun run for people of all ages,” Carrie Tatum, Associate Director of Of Moving Colors, explained. “Once the run is over we all meet back at the finish line and we have a massive street dance to Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller.’”

For the past three years Of Moving Colors has sponsored this unique Zombie Bash Fun Run as a way of raising cash for the contemporary dance company. Typically the event draws up to 500 runners. This year, they anticipate breaking that record.

“This is a big event for us and it’s grown each year,” Tatum said. “We first realized that we needed to develop a signature event, so we were looking for an event that wasn’t already tapped into by other arts organizations. One of our board members has this idea to collaborate with the 13th Gate. We also gain help from the L Bar, which has since closed and is now reopening as Mud and Water. They have been really amazing and they let us use their front yard and bar each year.”

The 5K race begins and ends at the 13th Gate and runners come decked out in their best zombie gear, but you never know who might show up.

“We have people dress in all kinds of crazy costumes. From actual zombies to chickens to Elmo – everything! We even have one guy who does the whole race every year on a unicycle.”

But what makes the whole event unique is the grand finale.

“When you go to a traditional race, everyone reaches the finish line and the event sort of dissipates. But with this event, there’s the big ‘Thriller’ dance, so everyone sticks around for that.”

The inclusion of the “Thriller” dance is an integral component for the company as it represents the non-traditional approach they take for productions throughout the year.

“We are the only company in Baton Rouge that produces performances that include dance with other disciplines,” Tatum explained. “They include multiple elements such as live music, live visual arts, drama, theatre, and other things like that.”

And of course, zombies!

Those who have not pre-registered for the 5K fun run should arrive at the 13th Gate by 5:00 p.m. The race will begin at 6:30 p.m. Typically the run lasts until 7:30 p.m., at which time the “Thriller” dance will begin.

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