Shawnee Hills Art Council Announces October Zombie Walk and Dance in Anna, Illinois


Shawnee Hills Art Council Announces October Zombie Walk and Dance in Anna, Illinois

Event Flyer

ANNA—The dead will rise, put on their best walking shoes, and walk the sidewalks of downtown Anna.  On October 3, 2015 the Shawnee Hills Art Council will be hosting its first annual Zombie Walk.

Zombie walks are public gatherings in which people walk around both in character and in dress as zombies, often for charity, awareness or both.  Executive Director Norma “Lee” Hackney is particularly excited to kick off this new annual event.

“This is a family-friendly event that we’re hoping will give a lot of kids something fun to do on a Saturday night and a chance to express themselves in ways they may not have before,” said Hackney.  “Young people are not only participating in the event but have assisted in the planning.”

Alex Little, Sara Sinici and Madilyn Hawk at a 2014 Zombie Walk

In particular, eleven-year-old Madilyn Hawk—a veteran of several years of zombie walks in Carbondale—has been acting as a consultant for the event.

“It’s a lot of fun to dress up as zombies and hang out with your friends,” said Madilyn.  “I like going into the stores, too.”

Stopping in participating storefronts is often a part of these events.  On the Friday before the event, several local vendors along the Zombie Walk route will have participants painting their windows in zombie themes.  At the time of the walk, they will be handing out candy to the undead as they traverse the city.

Rollie Hawk of Union County Technology Solutions—one of the event’s sponsors—appreciates that the Arts Center is involving the business community and is hoping to expand that in the future.

Madilyn Hawk "attacks" mother Robin Hawk a 2012 Zombie Walk

“I’m involved with a lot of our local business organizations and keep bringing up the whole zombie thing and I get some funny looks when I do.  But I see this as an untapped opportunity for economic development,” said Hawk, who serves as the chairman of the Union County CEO program and a member of the Union County Economic Development Corporation.  “This whole zombie culture is becoming very mainstream.  With the popularity of zombies on TV and in movies, imagine if our local tourism and bed and breakfast community started having zombie-themed weekends.  There’s a lot of potential for what the Arts Center is starting here to expand into something of a regional event if we put our minds to it.”

The event will begin at 6:00PM at the Anna Arts Center and following the march through town there will be a zombie shuffle where the dead, undead and even the living will work their best dance moves and dine on the finest zombie-themed cuisine.

Madilyn Hawk at a 2013 Zombie Walk

“After the zombies’ excursion downtown they will return to their crypts at the Anna Arts Center for some zombie shuffling to the DJ’s live beat,” added Hackney.  “Judges will select a King, Queen, and the Best Dresses Zombie.  Prizes will be awarded.”

One of the goals of the Arts Center is to promote awareness of the arts and provide activities for local families to get involved with.  They are working to provide Anna and surrounding communities with activities such as their monthly Teen Town event and a haunted house for several nights in late October.

“We’re hoping this event will increase awareness of the Anna Arts Center in the community as well as stimulate the creativity of our young people,” explained Hackney.  “Performance arts are a wonderful outlet for people young and old and we want to encourage that in our community.”

Registration for the event is $15 per zombie and includes a t-shirt until September 15.  Registrations after that will be $20.  Ages 11 and under must be accompanied by an adult.  For registration online, go to or get a registration form by emailing Hackney at or come to the box office at the Anna Arts Center, 125 West Davie Street, Anna, IL from 10:00AM to 12:30PM. For additional information, please call Hackney at 1-904-625-1109.


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