UticaOctober 16, 2012
Night of the partying dead
By Brad D. Bates
C & G Staff Writer
UTICA — Usually a “dead” night in the hospitality industry is cause for concern, but Oct. 13 in downtown Utica proved to be the exception.
As a zombie horde invaded the historic downtown, the community’s small-town charm and its selection of eateries kept the alarm to a minimum while the zombies actually seemed to enjoy themselves.
“The ‘entrails’ were pulled pork in sausage casing, and we added some rice to look like maggots,” said John Sattmann, owner of the Cass Bar and Grill, of the unique special he had for zombies.
While dishes like Sattmann’s “entrails” and activities, such as a zombie beauty pageant at Muldoon’s and zombie trivia at Hatchy’s, kept the undead from running amok, special security were on-hand to control the horde.
“I shoot them in the head,” joked zombie wrangler Gregg Jordan, holding a NERF shotgun.
At the epicenter of the horde was one of Utica’s newest businesses, Pop! Caffeine Comics and Gaming.
Owners Phil and Kim Stone actually managed to subdue the horde and make use of them, charging each of the 200 zombies a $5 donation to the Red Cross to partake in events, raffles and their “Zombie Crawl.”
“We’ve got more zombies here than you can shake a stick at,” Kim Stone said. “But you better shake a stick at them.”
Pop! managed to corral the mindless, flesh-eating masses through some of their store’s undead-specific wares, like zombie jerky, zombie blood energy drink and zombie role-playing games, as well as Kim Stone’s unique way with words.
“All right, let’s go you zombie dogs,” Kim Stone yelled as she gathered the horde’s attention before leading a parade of the undead down Cass Avenue and Auburn Road to the Sinister Haunted House hosted by Utica’s Lions Club.
“They said zombie walk, so I thought you could take your zombie for a walk,” Crystal Liss said when asked why she brought her pet zombie, Tabitha Thayer, to Utica.
And while the zombies left Utica, following their parade with minimal impact on the community, one has to wonder if the idea of catering to undead guests is a good idea.
“MRAAAAAAAGH,” said zombie 124 when asked if he would be back to Utica, which sounded like yes.
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