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Zombies to take over chamber of commerce

Walking Dead Halloween Tours immerse audience members in an interactive zombie show


PHOTO COURTESY OF JUDY THOMPSON  - SHEDCo member Marisa Love-Shamp poses for a picture dressed up in her zombie costume for the Walking Dead Halloween Tours.The inside of the South Columbia County Chamber of Commerce will get a makeover next week when character look-a-likes from the television series, The Walking Dead, will start to take over.

The St. Helens Economic Development Corp. will host Walking Dead Halloween Tours on Friday, Oct. 23, through Saturday, Oct. 24, and again on Friday, Oct. 30, all part of an event it has been planning for several months.

SHEDCO members will create a haunted house-like interactive production for community members to experience. Event attendees will visit the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce expecting to find out about new waterfront developments that have taken place during the zombie apocalypse, when suddenly things start to go wrong.

Judy Thompson, a SHEDCO member, came up with the idea for the tours. She said many members of the organization are fans of the television show, The Walking Dead, and she wanted to take a spin on the idea of zombies overrunning the town as a fundraiser event.

“It's a different way to have fun,” Thompson said. “It's a way to celebrate your attachment [to the show] in a sense.”

SHEDCO member Amanda Normine has also been helping put together “survivor bags” that will be handed out at the tours. The survivor bags contain maps of local businesses designated as “walker-free” zones that are providing specials for customers. Columbia River PUD has also donated two real-life emergency preparedness kits to be raffled off during the event.

Thompson said organizing the zombie tours has been a great way for members to get involved in ways they might not have been able to before.

Bethany Hoffee, also a SHEDCO member, and others have been helping create inexpensive zombie makeup to show people how they can participate on a budget. Hoffee was involved with her high school drama program and various drama troupes in California, where she learned stage makeup tricks that can be accomplished with on-hand supplies.

Thompson said she has been pleased with the planning of the event so far and has been impressed by the age range of people who want to get involved.

“People are really creating their [own] character and it's really cool to see,” Thompson said.

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