The Village of Lancaster puts itself on the map each year when the community celebrates the popular “Christmasville” event.
Now, a new event is brewing for this fall. This one is dubbed “Zombieville,” and it is being eyed for the last two weeks of October, leading up to Halloween.
Village Special Events Coordinator Dawn Gaczewski brainstormed the idea, and Monday evening she talked up a rundown of activities that could comprise “Zombieville” when she met with village trustees during a work session.
The Village Board seemed receptive to the idea, and Gaczewski said if it comes to fruition, it would be done at no cost to the village or taxpayers.
“Anything that is a cost, is a ‘no,’ as far as I’m concerned,” she said, emphasizing a variety of potential sponsorships she would seek.
Gaczewski plans to formalize her proposal and submit it to the Village Board.
“I want to turn Lancaster into Zombieville,” she said afterward. “Halloween is the second-most-celebrated holiday past Christmas. Our community is really filled with teens, so I thought, ‘Why not give the community something they might be interested in.’ ”
The idea is to transform the village’s core business district, along Central Avenue, with a Zombieville theme, and heavily involve merchants and others in the community who are willing to help sponsor the event, which could draw people to the heart of the village.
Possibilities include zombie-decorated light posts, merchant takes on the celebration within their shops, holding a “zombie sprint” and a “spirit of Halloween” spook house adaptive to different age groups.
The event would debut Oct. 12 and continue through Halloween, culminating with the long-standing community tradition of the children’s Halloween Parade, hosted by the Lancaster Village Fire Department Ladies’ Auxiliary.
The Zombie Sprint would be a takeoff on the popular Capture the Flag game enjoyed by youth. Participants would have the option of dressing up as zombies or in normal attire. Gaczewski is looking to close Central Avenue from Pleasant to Broadway, between 7 and 9 p.m. the evening of the event.
Movies also could be presented in Lancaster Opera House, with book signings in a local art museum.
In other matters, trustee Dawn M. Robinson questioned the status of some residential complaints that have surfaced about the safety of carnival rides during the village’s recent July 4 celebration. About 20 rides were featured.
The Ferris wheel, which was out of commission one day, later received state approval to operate again. But after a child suffered a minor injury on the ride, it was shut down, Gaczewski said.
Gaczewski, who conceded there were safety issues involving the rides, said she will be contacting Fun For Everyone, the ride company that is under a three-year contract with the village, with another two years remaining in the pact.
“The rides looked shoddy and broken down,” Gaczewski said. “They need to paint the rides and reassure [the safety of] them.”
Gaczewski, however, noted that the village has found the ride operator to be a decent company to work with over the years.
“They’ve done a wonderful job before. This is the first time there has been a problem,” she said. “I am going to pursue the complaints, and have to talk with them. We will try to work through the issues.”