Zombies launch food collection drive in downtown Pittsfield


PITTSFIELD -- The local "walking dead" are out to devour hunger this Halloween season.

The Zombie Action Committee (ZAC) of Berkshire County is urging fans of the undead to donate nonperishable food items at the group's zombie-themed events in downtown Pittsfield later this week.

The donations during the Pittsfield Zombie Festival will help replenish shelves at area food pantries, according to the committee's chancellor, Autumn Doyle.

"We thought it would be nice to be more community-oriented with our events," Doyle said. "We wanted to use this avenue to reach another demographic [zombie fans] to help people in need."

Canned and boxed goods can be dropped off at Friday's opening of the "Visual Dead" Art Show at Shawn's Barber Shop and the Zombie Prom at Spice Dragon on Saturday night.

ZAC is encouraging zombie believers attending each event to dress the part -- complete with gory, blood-curdling makeup.

"We hope the prom is crashed by ‘zombies,'" Doyle said. "It will be like ‘Carrie' gone wild," a reference to the Stephen King horror novel.

In addition, movie-goers are encouraged to donate canned goods at The Beacon Cinema, especially during one-time showing of two zombie favorites, "Shaun of the Dead" on Friday night and "Corpse Bride" on Saturday afternoon.

Beacon General Manager John Valente praised festival organizers for having fun that will benefit a good cause.

"They have tried to make it a family-friendly event," he said. "This will make the streets lively -- in a dead sort of way."

The Zombie Action Committee was formed in 2008 to raise awareness of social issues by capitalizing on the popular zombie theme in books, movies and television, according to the committee.

Two years ago, ZAC introduced the Berkshires to the Zombie Pub Crawl. The night time event allows zombie wannabes to go from bar to bar in downtown Pittsfield in search of booze, not brains, the preferred food staple of the creatures.

The event returns to the city on Saturday as part of World Zombie Day, celebrated by major cities across the U.S. and overseas. The pub crawl and other zombie-themed events elsewhere are also being used to support food drives, along with homeless shelters, animal shelters and other charities, according to local zombie committee officials.

Pittsfield Zombified

This week's Pittsfield Zombie Festival urging people to donate nonperishable food items toward restocking local food pantries.

Donations are accepted at:

♦ "Visual Dead" Art Show, Shawn's Barber Shop. Opening reception Friday, 6:30 p.m.

♦ Zombie Prom at Spice Dragon, Saturday, 8:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Admission $5 and two or more nonperishable food items.

♦ Special showing of "Shane of the Dead," Friday, 7:30 p.m., and "Corpse Bride," Saturday, 3 p.m., at The Beacon Cinema. Free popcorn with canned food donation.

To reach Dick Lindsay:
or (413) 496-6233.


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