Gary Linehan, The Union Democrat

Zombies don't care about the apocalypse - they're already undead.

Grisly ghouls by the hundreds are expected rise again in Sonora and roam Washington Street in search of tasty brains.

After the successful inaugural event in 2011, "The Walking Dead Sonora II" zombie march and food drive will return on Saturday with several additions.

Zombies will be able to summon their inner Michael Jackson and join in a monstrous "Thriller" flash mob. When the song was played llast year, some participants busted their monster moves, and it inspired organizers to arrange an official dance for Saturday's event, said event founder Michael Miller of Sonora.

The Sol Luna belly dance troupe will lead the dance in Courthouse Square at 5:15 p.m. People who don't know the moves and want to learn can attend a free dance class from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Dance Castle at 23496 Gold Springs Drive in Columbia.

"These are just basic moves so that people can follow along," Miller said.

Walk-ins are welcome, but participants are encouraged to sign up beforehand by contacting Heather Nordstrom at 533-4500 or

Other new features include zombie-themed games for children and a zombie photo booth at the Greater Good art gallery at 1 E. Linoberg St.

Zombies will gather in Courthouse Square and flood the sidewalks of Washington Street in waves at 4:45 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. The invasion will end at 7:30 p.m.

All are welcome at no charge.

Attendees are encouraged to arrive in zombie character, but a free makeup booth will be available from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Prizes will be awarded to zombies with the scariest and most original costumes, and one zombie will win the "best character" prize.

And even zombies have a conscience - participants are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items for the Amador-Tuolumne Community Action Agency Food Bank and pet food and supplies for the Humane Society of Tuolumne County. "Zombies, human or animal, cannot live on brains alone," Miller said.

More than 250 people participated last year and hundreds of pounds of food were collected.

For more information, call 536-6316 or visit