By Shaina April Nez
Lions, tigers, and…zombies? Oh my! Once again, the infamous Zombie March has taken over Main Street for its fourth annual celebration.
Each Halloween around midnight hundreds of Durangotangs fill the streets in a costumed parade called a Zombie March. News outlets from around the world have reported similar marches or walks.
The origins of the first marches, both globally and locally, are somewhat unclear.
The majority of online forums and sites dedicated to the marches trace the first march back to Sacramento, Calif. in 2001 as a sort of promotional event for a midnight film festival called The Trash Film Orgy.
No one person or group has taken responsibility for Durango’s marches and news of the events typically spreads through word-of-mouth, as well as the use of flyers, and online forums.
Nonetheless, the marches up Maine Street have attracted a significant crowd. As of Oct. 30, the Facebook page for this year’s march listed 531 people are listed as “attending” and 173 as “maybe attending.”
Jeremiah Riggs, a junior who dressed as an ER doctor/zombie during the march, summed the walk as people in Halloween costumes filling Main Street.
“Its only fun if you attend the march and see it for yourself,” Riggs said.
Emily Gorman, a sophomore who dressed as a fairy for last year’s zombie march, remembers first hearing about the zombie march around campus, making her and her friends curious about what goes on during Halloween night on Main St.
As the Zombie March became more popular, controversy arose over the possible cancellation of the event.
“The only time a slight issue of cancellation occurred was when the cops told participants they were only allowed to walk through Main once because some were trying to restart the walk again but nothing huge happened afterwards,” said Bill Verhelst, local and employee of Lady Falconburgh’s Barley Exchange,
According to police records released from the Durango Police Department, citations involving resisting arrest, harassment and intoxication on roadway and obstruction were issued during the last year’s march and two people were arrested.
The Zombie AfterMath
By Coleman Nelson
On Oct. 31 t 1:30 a.m. 22 citizens were arrested on charges varying from failing to disperse, disorderly conduct , obstructing a roadway, and obstructing an officer.
The event seemed to be like any other year as hundreds filed down the streets celebrating the holiday of Halloween. “There is a lot of youth anxiety and the energy is amazing,” Kinsey Ipson, a Fort Lewis Student said “They’re fighting but don’t necessarily know what they’re fighting for”.
Police ended up using pepper spray and rubber bullets to submerse the aggressive crowd. The police expect different behavior from participants in the years to come.
“Police are there to uphold city law,” said Lieutenant Ray Shupe. “ Last year people walked over parked cars, pushed over trash cans, and strategically placed dry ice bombs down Main Street. Last year officers tried to push people back onto sidewalks. This year extra force is being called to the scene because it is unpredictable and we want to prepare accordingly. Don’t participate in illicit activity and drink responsibly”.