From left, Mary Smith, Diana Boyles and Shelby Halvorson lead kids and adults in Michael Jackson’s Thriller dance, Saturday. Chaunte’l Powell Photo
It was a fright-filled day for Roswell as the Roswell Thrill the World and Zombie Walk took place Saturday. People of all ages came in their scariest garb to participate in the worldwide dance to Michael Jackson’s hit “Thriller,” before participating in the costume contest. The gruesome creatures then invaded the streets of Roswell for the annual Zombie Walk.
Nathalie Bedard and her son Connor were among those in the zombie crowd. She said she saw the advertisement around town and after attending last year’s festivities, decided to come back out and will do so every year it’s in town. She appreciates the sense of unity events such as the Thrill the World bring to the city.
For Scott Robb, the Zombie Walk was the main event. Robb attended the previous year as well and said it was an opportunity to spend quality time with his kids. He supports efforts to host such activities throughout the city, but felt Saturday could’ve been better.
Both Robb and Shelli Bolin speculated that switching the event from late in the evening to during the day might have had something to do with it. Bolin said having it at night “kind of gave it the creepy feel” last year.
Juliana Halvorson, one of the event’s organizers, agreed that more people want to participate in Halloween-themed events at night due to the ambiance, but the enthusiasm felt by those that were in attendance made the event worth it.
“The turnout wasn’t what we thought. We still had quite a bit of people, but it wasn’t what I thought it would be, but I’m still pretty happy with it,” she said. “We had people from out of town — Alto, Carlsbad, Hobbs and such — so we were pretty happy with that, too.”
Sixty people pre-registered, which according to Halvorson, is double the amount from last year. The event actually saw a total of 80 dancers.
She noted that the costume contest was a smashing success. In the kid’s division, the Sanchez family, ages 6, 6,11 and 12 took home Best Overall honors for their zombie mariachi band costume. They even entertained the crowd with a little zombie tune. Most Creative in that division went to 12-year-old Jeremiah Wendt-Doege, who was dressed as a gruesome murder victim. Scariest went to 9-year-old Alex Ly, who was dressed as a zombie involved in a tragic bus accident. In the adult category, Don Swindle won Best Overall in the adult division dressed as a man murdered at the hands of a wife who caught him cheating. Most Creative went to Judy Armstrong for her granny zombie get up, complete with knee-highs and tattered moo-moo. Zenaida Diaz was awarded the Scariest Costume title for her angel of death costume.
Halvorson encourages those unable to attend the event to visit zombiewalkroswell.com for pictures from the day and live stream footage of the Thriller dance.