Gary Linehan, The Union Democrat

The third annual "Walking Dead Sonora" will start at 4 p.m. Saturday at Courthouse Square in downtown Sonora.

"The event offers zombie enthusiasts a place to get together each year here in Tuolumne County," said organizer Michael Miller of Sonora.

Everyone is welcome.

This free experience will include two "walks" through downtown, a costume contest, a dance performance of "Thriller," zombie makeup booth, undead music, and zombie games.

"Zombie walks have gained in popularity in recent years," Miller said. "October 2011 marked the first ever zombie walk in the Sonora area."

He attributed the popularity of zombies to blockbuster movies like Max Brooke's "World War Z" and TV dramas like AMC's "The Walking Dead."

"People are falling in love with zombies," Miller said. "You know, zombies were people too."

The walk is also a food and supply drive for the Amador-Tuolumne Community Action Food Bank and the Humane Society of Tuolumne County.

Zombies and humans alike are being asked to bring donations of non-perishable food items or pet food to the park. Representatives from both organizations will be onhand to accept all donations.

Non-food supplies will be accepted too.

Would-be zombies are encouraged to get ready at home, however, there will be a basic zombie makeup booth provided. This service is free, with donations accepted.

The makeup booth will be available from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.

This year's costume contest is by invitation only. Prizes will go to the scariest and most creative male, female and child, as well as one winner for best celebrity zombie such as a singer, actor, or any character from television or a movie.

"I have been telling all the potential zombies to bring their 'Z' game this year and we will invite them to participate," Miller said.

The SolLuna Roma Belly Dancers will return to this year's zombie walk to perform Michael Jackson's "Thriller" in its entirety.

For the first time the zombie gathering will include "undead music" peformed by the 19Never Mindies band. Three sets will be peformed throughout the evening.

Last year, "zombie games" were introduced with carnival style games such as "catch your eye" and "zombie hand toss," where severed hands were tossed into a hole to win a candy prize.

The event will take place from 4 to 7:30 p.m.

For more information, telephone 536-6316 or visit