Zombie Days in Oak Harbor | Editorial

Whidbey Island has the Mussel Festival this weekend in Coupeville, soon to be followed by other celebrations too numerous to count. Some are patriotic or honor our traditions and natural wonders, but others are blatant efforts to draw visitors to one of Whidbey’s three downtowns to part them from their money.

We thought we had plenty of festivals but then some high school kids come up with the idea of “Thrill the Island,” in which lots of folks will dress up like zombies on Saturday, March 10, and take over Oak Harbor’s Pioneer Way from 9:30 a.m. to noon. It’s a one-time exercise to film an island version of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” but it’s way too good an idea to let it fade away after a single episode.

Just last weekend Langley attracted hundreds of visitors to town with its annual Mystery Weekend, in which people costumed as Sherlock Holmes or Agatha Christie dash around town trying to solve a fictional murder. It’s a moneymaker, much like the future Zombie Days might be if Oak Harbor sets its sights on becoming the destination for the Northwest’s Living Dead one weekend each year.

Zombie movies have been part of American culture since George Romeo sprang “Night of the Living Dead” on an unsuspecting public in 1968. Basically, zombies arise from the grave in ragged clothes, drool a lot, and clumsily chase panic-stricken characters. Dozens of similar movies have followed, and there’s talk of a zombie production on Broadway.

Next Saturday we’ll have dozens of zombies in Oak Harbor, which will provide a training opportunity for our future Zombie Days. Zombies have to eat! Fortunately, raw food is a present day fad. Civic clubs can sell raw corn and unboiled hot dogs, fancy restaurants steak tartare, carpaccio made from raw beef tenderloin, and the ever-popular raw oysters and sushi. Some say zombies enjoy brains, but that’s off the menu. We don’t want to deal with zombies suffering from mad cow disease.

And since these will be pretend zombies, the won’t want to go home in the rags they wore to town for Zombie Days. Clean, fashionable clothing should sell well at the end of the day, as should makeup remover and fresh makeup for the female zombies. The males may need a shave, a giant spray can of deodorant and a few beers.

Oak Harbor residents should go downtown March 10, support the zombies in “Thrill the Island,” and start making plans for next year’s Zombie Days.


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