While the last one isn’t likely it is the tongue in cheek theme of Saturday’s Tacoma Zombie Festerval and Preparedness Expo.
The non-profit event at the Best Western Tacoma Dome Hotel is the brainchild of several civic-mined organizers who want their fellow citizens to be ready for anything. The zombies? It’s all part of attracting a not-your-usual-crowd.
“The federal government has been pushing for personal preparedness for several years, particularly after Hurricane Katrina in 2005,” said Michael Shaudis, one of the coordinators.
It was the Centers for Disease Control that first started mixing zombies and preparedness, Shaudis said. Not only was the CDC trying to reach non-mainstream audiences, he said, but, “If you’re prepared for zombies you’re prepared for anything.”
Saturday’s event will be an even split between the very serious world of disaster preparedness and the frivolity of pop culture, Shaudis said.
Over 15 classes cover everything from making Bug-Out Bags to Armed Self Defense to Damage Risk and Assessment. In the pop culture category there will be Introduction to Burlesque as a Survival Art and “Head Shots” An Introduction to Fighting the Zombie Menace.
An all-day Zombie Shoot will occur at nearby Bull’s Eye Indoor Range.
“We’ll have plenty of fun for the zombie people,” Shaudis said. Activities include a zombie film festival, a zombie walk for kids and adults, costume contests and entertainment from Hot Roddin’ Romeos, a rockabilly band from Seattle.
Military vehicles and tents will be set up behind the hotel to simulate a refugee processing center. “It’s what you would expect to see if you had to evacuate to somewhere,” Shaudis said.
Shaudis was a U.S. Air Force flight medic in both Iraq and Afghanistan from 2003 to 2009. That’s where he became aware of the Wounded Warrior Project. Profits from Saturday’s event will go to the charity.
Tacoma Zombie Festerval and Preparedness Expo
When: 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday
Where: Best Western Tacoma Dome Hotel, 2611 East E Street, Tacoma
Admission: Adults $12, discounts for public service, military and kids