With Halloween on a Friday night this year, it could get pretty wild by the time the Zombie and Monster March VII starts at midnight.
“Zombies, monsters, ghouls, faeries and other assorted Halloween creatures return to Durango’s streets during the witching hour of All Hallows Eve to reclaim them from the magic-less world and create and occupy space in which anything can happen,” the march’s Facebook page says.
March participants pride themselves on being spontaneous and having no leaders or organizers, but according to the Facebook page, marchers should be at Main Avenue and College Drive at 11:55 p.m. Friday. The Twitterverse and Facebook page were quiet as of Thursday, with only handful of people saying they were planning to attend.
“We’re definitely gearing up for it since Halloween is on a Friday this year,” said Lt. Ray Shupe with the Durango Police Department. “We’re really discouraging people from coming down to join the march. It is an unlawful and unpermitted event, and people participating in it are subject to arrest.”
In 2011, the police department made 22 arrests at the Zombie March.
“The last couple of years, they’ve been pretty respectful,” Shupe said, “and got out of the street when asked. This year, we’re prepared to make arrests, but hope we won’t need to. ”
This year, the nonorganizers are asking for participants’ cooperation.
“This is a peaceful, nonviolent and fun-oriented event,” the Facebook page says. “While the event is unpermitted, we can remain safe from police repression simply by remaining peaceful, celebratory and fun-loving. Please consider the safety of everyone present when choosing your words and actions. Please treat the space and community as if it were your own, as well as the property and objects you encounter within it.”
A major concern for police, with the confluence of Halloween and a Friday night, is alcohol consumption.
“We’d like to encourage people not to drink in excess,” Shupe said. “Alcohol seems to lead to poor decision making.”
In the meantime, he reminds drivers to pay attention during earlier hours of the evening when children are out trick-or-treating.
“Little ones are darting in and out of traffic without paying much attention,” he said. “Especially in the East Third Avenue area, where there are big crowds, drivers need to be really careful.”