BERWYN – Mayhem, horror, gore, putrefied flesh and the walking dead, will be Roosevelt Road’s dark passengers beginning at 6:30 p.m. Saturday for the fourth annual Roosevelt Road Zombie Walk and Pub Crawl.
The Roosevelt Road Business Association (RRBA) will partner with Horrorbles, a horror and sci-fi collectibles shop, to sponsor the event, which features zombie make-up, a pub crawl, food and an after-party.
Participation in the event is $20, which includes admission, make-up and food provided at the FitzGerald’s after-party. Proceeds from the event benefit The Berwyn Historical Society.
Behind all this madness you’ll find John Aranza, who, with his wife Christine Tully Aranza, own Autre Monde Cafe & Spirits, 6727 W. Roosevelt Road. Aranza is also the owner of Horrorbles, 6729 Stanley Ave., a one-stop shop for everything horrific, from collectibles to posters, models and masks. Yes, the noted restaurateur is also noted for being nuts about scary stuff.
Aranza said that being a member of the Roosevelt Road Business Association and owner of Horrorbles, which was Previously located on Roosevelt Road, gave him the idea to combine his interest in promoting the business district through his love for the horrific. Hence the zombies.
“The zombies really get into it,” Aranza said. “Families join in. When people are walking down the street, there’s kind of an unwritten rule. Everyone just kind of growls and mumbles; nobody’s talking.”
Horrorbles will sponsor makeup and costume staging from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Culver’s, 6943 Roosevelt Road, and at Wire, 6815 Roosevelt Road. Once properly attired, zombies will be led on a pub-crawl that will stop at participating bars along the road. FitzGerald’s will then host the catered after party. In the true spirit of the undead, zombies will proceed between venues in silence.
For the $20 cover, participants get a package that includes a T-shirt for the first 100 people. For everyone, there’s a wristband for drink discounts throughout the night, Aranza said. It also serves as admission for the party at Fitzgerald’s nightclub, 6615 W. Roosevelt Road, including food.
And there will be a contest, Aranza said. First prize will be Blackhawks tickets for January.
“Each year, one of the fun things we’ve done is donate all the proceeds to a charity and this year, we have partnered with the Berwyn Historical Society,” Aranza said.
As for the world’s latest fascination with zombies, Aranza said they’re an easy target.
“I think they’re an easy punching bag for people,” he said. “You can bring out 20 of them and get rid of them, then bring out 20 more. They’re like a disposable enemy.”