The Ravalli County Museum has decided to jump on the zombie bandwagon for the purpose of fundraising.
The Ravalli County Museum will host a Zombie Apocalypse event that includes actors in costumes and make-up on Saturday.
Their event has three parts: a scavenger hunt with prizes, a laser-light show and dance, and the screening of a movie filmed in the Bitterroot Valley. Participants can purchase tickets to all three aspects or attend just a portion of the zombie night.
Sarah Monson, project coordinator for the Ravalli County Museum, said the event is a huge zombie-themed Halloween party.
“We freely admit we’ve been bitten by the zombie bug and we are interested in brains – not to eat but to fill them with interesting bits of historical information,” Monson said.
The Zombie Apocalypse event begins at 4:30 p.m. with a scavenger hunt in an eight-block area around the museum.
“The zombies will be in alleyways, and they will just be interacting with scavenger-hunt participants,” said Monson.
Participants are provided with a shooter, a bag of ammunition, a map, a letter and clues. They will seek hidden caches of ammunition and survival supplies while fending off the zombie hordes who are wandering around town. There will be 60 zombie volunteers from Trapper Creek Job Corps, Bitterroot College and MAPS Media Institute.
The tickets are only sold ahead of the event. It requires a signed liability release. Tickets are $60 for a group of four or $20 per individual. The tickets include access to the laser light show.
Monson said this portion of the event may soon be sold out.
The laser light show and a zombie dance will be held from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the museum grounds.
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“DJ L-Rock” will present the laser light show set to music on the front lawn. The museum grounds will be decked out with Halloween decorations like a graveyard, animated zombies, a witch and a ghost.
Food from Mineshaft Pasty Co. and Pikeman BBQ will be available for purchase. The Red Curtain Photo Booth will be set up with zombie backdrops; the $5 photo purchases will benefit the museum.
There will be zombie-related kid activities like legless races, feeding grounds and a beanbag toss.
Monson said the laser-light show and zombie dance are popular.
“We have 200 tickets to the laser show sold already,” Monson said. “It will be a big dance party. Parents can come and bring their kids, enjoy the evening and take a mini-tour of usually unseen rooms in the museum.”
The third part of the event is a screening of the horror movie “Zombies of the Living Dead.” The Christian Ackerman production was filmed in the Bitterroot Valley and will be shown from 9:30 p.m. until 11 p.m. in the museum’s courtroom gallery.
The movie is about a zombie attack in the town of Clear Water in Hamilton County.
The action-packed zombie feature has special effects, exploding heads and is recommended for ages 13 or older. Tickets are $10 or $5 with any other Zombie Apocalypse ticket.
Monson said the museum is jumping on the latest trend to draw the younger crowd, but she sees that people of all ages get into the zombie craze.
“Zombies do have a history. They are originally from the Haitian culture and part of voodoo legends,” said Monson. “There is a literary heritage for zombies: Richard Matheson’s ‘I Am Legend’ and Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein.’ The Centers for Disease Control is using the increase in popularity of the zombie genre as an opportunity to get people to prepare for disaster. Given their intense following, it makes sense for us to use zombies as a fundraiser.”
Movie and laser-show tickets are available at Adore Hair and Design and Impressions Hair Salon. Tickets for the entire event are available at Chapter One Book Store, ATR Inc., and Ravalli County Museum.