PALM SPRINGS - For many families attending the 3RD annual Zombie Walk Palm Springs, they say children are more likely to be out of harms way walking with zombies than knocking on doors. "We just feel like it's safer than being out on the streets trick or treating or kids getting hit by a car. Here everything is blocked off and we just feel a lot safer,” says attendee Erica Guzman.
Event organizers couldn't agree more. "You’ll see an ocean of green balloons. We encourage our zombies to hand them to kids so it's more family friendly and the kids won't be as scared. We tell them no zombie hunting.We discourage weapons of any kind,” says organizer Chad Gardner.
More than 200 zombies were unleashed during the Halloween night Villagefest but there weren't just zombies. "Just when the zombie sheriff cowgirl thought her life was over, she became a butterfly and flew away into the sky,” says one zombie dressed as half zombie, half butterfly.
Even though the costumes can be frightening-- flat out gross even, participants say the zombie walk is a perfect place to come together as a community. "We're out here to have a good time. Zombie Walk has been around for a while and I think it's a great night out for the kids and us. It's a great way to give back to the community,” says zombie Dean Merli.
If you couldn’t afford to paint yourself like a zombie, organizers took care of that. "You could either come dressed up as a zombie or you can get your make-up done up at the Marilyn statue. We have an effects make-up booth that's being sponsored by College of the Desert,” says Gardner.
Proceeds from the event go to SafeHouse of the Desert-- an organization aimed at housing homeless kids among other things. "Our main goal is to reunite them with their families,” says spokesperson for SafeHouse Jennifer Trevino.
So whether you just came to take in the scary sights or be part of the show, one thing was for sure-- there was no lack of ghoulish creativity or family love in the Coachella Valley. "I like zombies. My nephew is a big fan. He's gotten me into them but he's my favorite zombie,” says attendee Anna Figueroa.
For more information on SafeHouse of the Desert, click here.