Is that a shuffling sound behind you? Don't take it lightly this weekend because odds are it's a zombie coming for your brains.
Riding the wave of the ever-popular horror genre that focuses on the flesh-eating walking dead, the first-ever Infect Scranton Zombie Convention will begin tonight and shamble on through Sunday.
Organizer Robert Savakinus knows the value of a good zombie and understands why people seem to be latching on to the phenomenon now more than ever.
"The idea of an outbreak, like in ‘28 Days Later,' or the T-virus, made famous in the ‘Resident Evil' franchises, really isn't too far out of the realm of possibilities," he said. "Understand that people who are ‘prepping for the zombie apocalypse' are actually prepping for any type of disaster. And, that said, if they are doing so under the guise of a zombie outbreak, what real harm is there?"
The zombie convention will offer some crash courses on just how to prepare in case the day the dead overrun the earth does, in fact, come. The main portion of the convention will happen Saturday at Riverside High School in Taylor, which will be transformed into a post-zombie apocalypse military camp. Con-goers will be treated not only to panel discussions with zombie enthusiasts and those well-versed in zombie make-up and films but to other events labeled "Hand-to-Hand Combat Techniques" and "Zombie Preparedness 101."
A panel discussion with stars of the AMC hit show "The Walking Dead," including IronE Singleton (T-Dog), Addy Miller (the child zombie and first kill of the series), Madison Lintz (the ill-fated Sophia) and Keisha Tillis (creepy zombie-mom), also is planned.
As far as tonight is concerned, the festivities will begin with full-blown make-up and costumes for the Zombie Pub Crawl, which will start at 9 p.m. Bar patrons will be done up as zombies as they trek from establishment to establishment in search of adult beverages. Half the proceeds will benefit the Ann Kutyna Kidney Fund.
The biggest event of all, however, is the Zombie Survivors 5K, a race that will take place in Taylor and pit zombies against humans in a race to the finish line. Participants will encounter typical race obstacles while zombies give chase. Proceeds from this event will go to the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority, Taylor fire companies and the Ann Kutyna Kidney Fund.
What: Infect Scranton Zombie Convention
When: Tonight through Sunday
For more information and to register for events visit www.infectscranton.com.
• 4:45 and 5:30 p.m.: Walk Scranton After Dark and Take a Ride on the Trolley of Terror, by the Lackawanna Historical Society and Electric City Trolley Museum, Catlin House, 232 Monroe Ave., Scranton
• 7 to 9 p.m.: Zombie transformation and pub crawl check-in, Kildare's Irish Pub, 119 Jefferson Ave., Scranton
• 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.: Zombie Pub Crawl, starts at Kildare's, goes to Backyard Ale House, The Keys, Whiskey Dick's, Stalter's Café, Traxx and possibly more
Zombie 5K Survivor Challenge, 614 Union St., Taylor
• 8 to 10 a.m.: Race registration
• 10 a.m.: Zombie 5K Race
• 10 a.m. to noon: Live entertainment by God Damn Zombie
• 11 a.m.: Convention opens at Riverside High School, 300 Davis St., Taylor
• Noon to 1 p.m.: Night of the Living Dead panel discussion
• 1 to 2:30 p.m.: Screening of "Night of the Living Dead"
• 2:30 to 3:15 p.m.: Panel discussion with producer Joe Van Wei, "Making Camp St. Zombie."
• 4 to 5 p.m.: Talking Dead with members of the cast of "The Walking Dead"
• 1 to 2 p.m.: Zombie Game Show with Matt Mogk
• 3 to 4 p.m.: Hand-to-hand combat and survival techniques
• 4 to 5 p.m.: Panel discussion with Jim Krut of "The Famous Helicopter Zombie"
• Noon to 1 p.m.: Zombie Preparedness 101
• 1 to 2 p.m.: Special-effects make-up panel discussion
• 2 to 3 p.m.: Panel discussions with permuted press authors Scott M. Baker, Dr. Kim Paffenroth and Jacqueline Druga
• 3 to 3:30 p.m.: Interactive panel with director and crew of Z'Con
• 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Zombie brunch and discussion to benefit the Taylor Community Library, Colarusso's La Palazzo, 4500 Birney Ave., Moosic