Zombie fans shambling into Marietta for annual festival

MARIETTA — Zombies will be taking over part of Marietta today.

Harmar Village’s annual Zombiefest will be 2-11 p.m. today along Maple Street, behind Harmar Elementary School and near the vehicular entrance into the lower west side at Putnam Bridge.

“We want to have this grow each year to be more encompassing of the horror genre as a whole,” said Nathaniel Maciag, 27, of Marietta, one of the organizers of the event.

“It’s a seven-year-old event and we still have the costume contest but it’s become more with higher caliber judges, interesting vendors, live entertainment all afternoon and into the night and an indie horror film fest thanks to one of our sponsors, Monkey’s Uncle Tattoo.”

Maciag said the costume competition is split into three bracket — child, teen and adult — and that the judges are local independent film directors and award-winning cosplayers.

“So they’re looking for the original and unique in people’s costumes,” he said. “We encourage people to get pretty creepy while still using their best judgment since part of the day is geared really toward kids.”

From 2-8 p.m. today, the festival will lean to the younger mind with entertainment but as the night creeps on and a burlesque troop moves in the vibe will shift.

“We even have a Casanova Frankenstein and then a horror punk band called The Jasons coming,” Maciag said.

Then down the street from 40 vendors and three local food trucks will be the Horror Filmfest located within the expanding location of Monkey’s Uncle Tattoo.

“I’m excited to see what level people take their costumes to and it’s exciting to see the bands and vendors bring life and support into the west side,” said the shop’s owner, Chase Chovan. “We’re doing a special (today) giving stick figure zombie tattoos for $25 a piece and then since I’m expanding we’re going to use the new side to host the films.”

With chainsaws and ladders moved to the side the films will play on attendees’ imaginations with titles like “The Void,” “Circus of the Dead” and “The Barn.”

The filmfest begins at 3 p.m. today and runs throughout the zombiefest.

This weekend also marks the Mid-Ohio Valley Players’ newest show, “Dracula.” The play opened Friday and will continue today at 8 p.m. with additional shows on Oct. 13, 14, 15, 20 and 21 at the Players Theatre at Third and Putnam streets.

The cast includes: Jonathan Harker, David Scheimann; Count Dracula, Isaac “Ike” Eastwood; Female Vampire 1, Aura Bruce; Female Vampire 2, Sarah Drake; Mrs. Martha Westenra, Sabrina M. Dye; Mr. Henry Westenra, George Gaston; Charles (their butler), John Geslak; Miss Lucy Westenra, Amber Smrek; Miss Mina Murray, Mara Katrina Capati; Arthur Holmwood, Sterling Mayer; Dr. Peter Seward, Mack McHale; Prof. Abraham Van Helsing, Chuck Wilcox; Attendant/Servant to Seward, Aaron Paige; and Mr. Renfield, Charles Roberts.

Today’s Zombiefest schedule includes:

* 2 p.m. High Schools That Rock

* 3 p.m.: Horror Short Films, “Night of the Slasher,” “The Backpage,” “Born Again” and

The Stylist” at Monkey’s Uncle Tattoo

* 4 p.m.: Corey Hager

* 4:30 p.m.; Horror Film, “The Barn” at Monkey’s Uncle Tattoo

* 5 p.m.: Comedy with Joel Gant

* 5:30 p.m.: DJ Otis Driftwood

* 6 p.m.: Child Costume Contest

* 6:30 p.m.: Teen Costume Contest; Horror Film, “Circus of the Dead” at Monkey’s Uncle Tattoo

* 7 p.m.: Adult Costume Contest

* 8 p.m.: Gypsysoul Burlesque

* 8:30 p.m.: Horror Film, “The Void” at Monkey’s Uncle Tattoo

* 9:15 p.m.: Casanova Frankenstein

* 10 p.m.: The Jasons

* 10:30 p.m.: Horror Film, “Night of the Living Dead” at Monkey’s Uncle Tattoo