The undead strut to the song “Thriller” during the Thrill the World Roswell and Zombie Walk at the Roswell Convention Center, Saturday. (Mark Wilson Photo)
Gashed faces, eyes falling from their sockets, exposed spines and all-around blood and gore overran the Roswell Convention and Civic Center Saturday.
Attendees said they were thrilled w ith this year’s Thrill the World/Roswell Zombie Walk, which included a dance, costume contest and march down Main Street.
Funds raised by the event will go toward the Chaves County Cancer Fund as part of the Paint the Town Pink breast cancer awareness campaign organized by Eastern New Mexico Medical center.
Event organizer Juliana Halvorson said, “I think it went awesome—great turnout, everyone is having fun, beautiful day.”
Julie Morrow, vice president of the cancer fund, estimated that thousands of people attended throughout the day.
The Zombie Walk started with a makeup call at 9 a.m. Participants were turned from friendly community members into the creepiest of undead by Dallas Pollei, humanities and theater instructor at ENMU-Roswell.
At noon, participants who paid to participate in the dance began rehearsing. The 3 p.m. performance was followed by a costume contest.
Attendees and volunteers alike said that their favorite part of the event was the coordinated dance to Michael Jackson’s song “Thriller.” The dance was timed to coincide with renditions happening around the world.
“I liked seeing all the little kids try to keep up with the adults; or the adults trying to keep up with the kids, actually,” said event volunteer Amanda Ware, chief operating officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters in Roswell.
Emily Medrano, 8, of Roswell, said she especially liked when the zombies jumped at the end of the dance.
Army National Guard solider and Roswell resident William Atkinson entered the scariest adult costume category of the costume contest. Other categories included scariest child’s costume, most creative adult and child’s costume, and best pink zombie, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Atkinson wore his old army uniform as part of his costume. He tore his jacket at the shoulder to show where he had been “bitten” by a zombie.
He said that while he felt “a little bit” bad about damaging the uniform, he thought the overall impact of his costume made up for it.
“I still represent the military,” he said.
Halvorson, Morrow and ENMMC Marketing Director Brooke Linthicum all wore pink costumes. Together, the three were the main coordinators of the Paint the Town Pink campaign. The campaign included activities throughout the month to benefit the cancer fund. The Zombie Walk was the last of the activities.