Act like a zombie – Hollidaysburg Y event Aug. 17

HOLLIDAYSBURG – Lock your doors. Board up the windows. Alert the White House. Zombies are invading the Hollidaysburg Area YMCA.

The Y will hold a Zombie Apocalypse Fest aimed at kids and families from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 17.

The program’s coordinator, Veronica Berry of Altoona, has been doing programs that “invite parents and kids to come together and just to have a fun time, use their imagination” for different agencies for at least 10 years, she said.

The event is open to all ages and is priced with group discounts to encourage families and friends to come together, she said,

Berry, who is a certified elementary teacher and is working on obtaining her master’s degree for early childhood education, likes to promote family activities because she feels society is losing “doing things as a family,” she said.

As for the zombie theme, she was tapping in to their current popularity, she said, noting she had heard of similar events elsewhere but not in the area and thought residents would enjoy it.

The recreation center has held similar events Berry coordinated with “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter” themes.

The Y is planning to hold the “Star Wars” event for a third year, because of parents’ requests, the Y’s Human Resource Director Laurie Smith said.

“‘Star Wars’ last year, we had 45 kids. It was unbelievable,” Smith said. “And you know what’s so cool is the kids all dress up. It is really fun. She’s [Berry] done a great job for us.”

The event, held on the side of the Y closest to Penn Street, will start out with a lesson on how to survive a zombie apocalypse in a comical emergency safety lesson, Smith said.

Next, kids will get a chance to participate in the Zombie Survival Race.

Kids sign up to play a human survivor or a zombie in the race. In groups of 10, the human survivors, wearing flags around their waist, will take turns running along a walking trail. Strategically placed zombies will try to grab the flags. If a zombie snags a flag, that indicates the human was bitten. For every “bite,” a human survivor gets a rubber band to wear.

The person with the least amount of rubber bands at the end of the game, is the winner.

Other activities include learning Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” dance, zombie face painting, and a story time reading from Hollidaysburg Area Public Library’s director of youth and children’s service Melanie Ramsey. She will read the book, “Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich,” by Adam Rex.

Other groups attending the event include the Pennsylvania Zombie Task Force, who will teach archery shooting, and Gatehouse Games with the game Zombie Dice.

Wilderness survival skills lessons will be available, a DJ, the Awesome Austin Claar, will play music and refreshments will be available.

The Y tries to offer “interactive-type activities for kids” that allow them to release creativity and express themselves, Smith said.

Mirror Staff Writer Amanda Gabeletto is at 949-7030.