It’s time for the big Halloween Stuff To Do, and your PopCulteer is too hoarse to record the audio podcast version this week, so we’re doing it the old-fashioned way: I will type the information into my computer and post it to the blog!
There is a ton of stuff going on this weekend. It’s Halloween, and in the grand tradition of adults taking over what used to be a children’s celebration, Kanawha County held their trick-or-treat Thursday night so that they could leave Saturday open for the big beer fests. We’ll get to the run-down after I explain some comments I made in this blog last weekend.
Some readers have asked me about comments I made about HallowEast last Sunday in the notes accompanying the Zombie Walk video. I wrote that it stopped being fun for me. There’s not really a lot on which to elaborate. I hate how they ruined the Zombie Walk. It was my wife’s idea, and the first three years of it were fun and amazing and I was proud to shoot video of them. It was the highlight of HallowEast for those years.
But it wasn’t a money-maker, and we must remember that the main purpose of HallowEast is to put money into the coffers at East End Main Street. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it means that a free event like the Zombie Walk gets shunted to the back-burner or repurposed. Starting with the fourth year, the start time of the Zombie Walk was pushed back to after dark. This completely defeats the purpose of a Zombie Walk. People are not going to spend hours putting together elaborate make up and costumes just so they can walk through a neighborhood in the dark.
The first year that the current route was taken, the Zombie Walk was a huge hit. Residents of the East End stood outside to watch and interact with the zombies. It was great. When they moved to a later start time, that all ended. Nobody’s going to stand outside in the cold and dark to watch zombies go by that they can barely see.
I know why the start time of the Zombie Walk was moved. I just don’t like the reasons. The Zombie Walk now ends up at the location of the Pub Crawl/Costume Crawl. It is now a free event that funnels people into a paid event. I do not, nor have I ever, drank alcohol. There is nothing about a pub crawl that appeals to me. I understand that it’s a huge money-maker, and I don’t begrudge HallowEast the chance to dip into that lucrative beer sponsorship money, but I do think it’s a little underhanded to use a free event to put warm bodies in the location of the not-free big drunken street party.
Another reason that they moved the start time of the Zombie Walk is so that the zombies can be used as obstacles in another event that isn’t free, the Zombie 5K run. This is just a major lawsuit waiting to happen. Eventually a zombie and a runner are going to collide and get injured, and the litigation is inevitable. I shot video of the Zombie Walk the first time they did this, and while it was hilarious watching the confused zombies react to the people crazy enough to spend money to run in the dark, it was also dangerous. The routes collide head-on. You have runners, who are not used to running after dark, running directly at people who may have make-up prosthetics or masks that hinder their vision. They have been very lucky so far.
That’s why the PopCult and RFC crew will not be at the Zombie Walk this year. It would be nice to see another city hold a real zombie walk–in the daylight hours, and with rules (dress like a zombie, act like a zombie, don’t show up dressed like Freddy Krueger and spend the whole time staring at your cellphone). The after-dark start time has already discouraged many of the area’s best make-up people from attending. It stopped being fun for us, so we don’t go anymore.
This is the first year that I am not participating in ArtMares. It was fun to be part of it, but my artistic efforts are focused on a larger, more personal work for the foreseeable future, and I didn’t have the time to contribute. I’m sure that it’ll be a fun show without me, and the artist’s reception is Friday night.
As for the rest of HallowEast, the movie they’re showing at Laidley Field Friday is a great idea. I’m glad to see them doing that. The pub crawl thing is just not my bag. I have enough problems shooting bands in bars filled with drunken revellers without dollar beers being sold on the streets just outside. The 5K run…why anyone would pay to run is simply beyond my comprehension. More power to you if it floats your boat, but to me, running without a bear in pursuit simply makes no sense.
I just don’t see HallowEast today, with the focus being on beer and more adult activities, living up to the vision of Mark Wolfe, who created the event in the first place. If you are interested in HallowEast, don’t let my grousing deter you. You can find a full schedule of activities at their website. It may still be fun for you, even it it’s no longer fun for me.
That’s why you won’t see your loyal PopCulteer at any of the HallowEast events this year. My plan is to have a quiet, family-oriented weekend. To be honest, I’m more than a little burned-out on Halloween this year. It’s become too much like work. I’m ready to put this holiday in my rear-view mirror and get ready for a great Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Stuff To Do
Free music this weekend sees Taylor Books presenting Kerry Hughes and Jacob MacDonald on Friday, and Mark Bradley on Saturday, both shows beginning at 7:30 PM. C&S Railroad will be at Sully’s, on Leon Sullivan Way, starting at 9 PM Friday.
The late night music scene offers up a Friday night show at The Blue Parrot: Brain Trauma, Dinosaur Burps, Robin Taylor, Dutch Underwood & Miniature Giant will all perform, with a five-dollar cover. Start time is around 10 PM.
Then we get lazy and go with the graphics…
That’s it for this week’s PopCulteer. Check back for all our regular features. Please celebrate responsibly and enjoy the holiday.