The Nashville Zombie Walk is returning Sunday, October 21st to Nashville’s Public Square and here’s everything you need to know.

Starting at 3 P.M. Central for registration and donation collection, the walk itself will begin at 4 P.M. and will leave from Public Square Park on a route taking Zombies through both greenway trails and public spaces along Nashville’s River Front and Broadway before ending at Ascend Amphitheater. From there, Zombies are invited to attend a rooftop after party at Rock Bottom Brewery from 5:30-9:30. Nonperishable food donations for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee will be collected prior to the start of the walk and organizers will be sharing ways that you can continue to donate to Second Harvest on social media through the holiday season. Now, let’s address the issues.

Let me address the elephant(s) in the room.

I’m talking now as a producer of the Nashville Zombie Walk and not just a fan.

Why do we have to register/get tickets?

The Nashville Zombie Walk is a FREE event. Let me say that again for anyone who glanced over it the first time. THE NASHVILLE ZOMBIE WALK IS A FREE EVENT!

Tickets are free. But, in order to have an accurate count on how many people are coming out, we need some kind of registration process. It also makes our sponsors and insurance company happy because people in business love statistics. We’re recovering and rebuilding this event after it went AWOL in 2015 and 2016. The best way to show sponsors and the city of Nashville that this event is worth supporting is to be able to show them on paper how many people attend and are interested in it continuing. Take a few minutes before the event and register online. Links are available on our Facebook page and the Facebook event page.

What happens when we bring you canned goods?

The Nashville Zombie Walk is once again partnered with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee to use the walk as a food drive. We’re trying to collect as many canned goods and non-perishable food items for the Second Harvest ahead of the holiday season. This year, Second Harvest will have volunteers on site working with NZW volunteers to collect and tally up donations. Last year, there was a miscommunication and the tally was lost on donations. It’s one of a few logistical problems that we have managed to get worked out this year and we will hopefully have an accurate count on the estimated weight and number of donations by the end of the day, Sunday. Hopefully. We’ll also being sharing links and information through the holidays on the NZW Facebook page on how to continue donating and helping the Second Harvest throughout the rest of the year, if you can’t attend or make a donation during the walk.

Hey, why is the walk happening on a Sunday?

Having the Nashville Zombie Walk on Sunday, October 21st helps the Second Harvest and some sponsors and has made it substantially easier to get the city involved in granting us permission to hold the event. Mainly, though, it allows volunteers from the Second Harvest Food Bank to be present to collect your donations and to educate anyone interested on the organization’s mission and how you can help.

The Nashville Zombie Walk has become a tradition in my household. Working evening shift for most of my son’s life, this event has become something special that we get to do together every year in lieu of being able to go trick-or-treating. We’ve done it since he was 2 and, now, going on 14, it’s become as much a part of our holiday experience as carving a jack-o-lantern or decorating for Halloween. It’s why I ended up getting involved in this in the first place. We’re horror fans who want to keep a unique piece of community and performing arts going for future generations. We want to see it grow to the point where everyone in this town is as excited as we are for the Zombie Walk to happen.

So, what do we do?

Register for free and join us on October 21st. Bring non-perishable food donations for the Second Harvest. Spread the word and invite as many people as you know who might be involved. This is your event and we want you to take pride in it. We want you to help keep Nashville strange.

And don’t forget about the awesome Zombie after party at Rock Bottom Brewery.