Zombies taking over Oswego for YMCA

The Oswego YMCA Armory is partnering with coordinators of the Zombie Crawl to provide a spooky, fun-filled Halloween for Oswego on Friday.

The YMCA is presenting its annual “Halloween at the Y” event, which begins at 6 p.m. There will be two separate sections to the event: the children’s section, which includes face painting, music, food and air hop, and the adult’s section which includes a haunted maze.

The children’s section will be held upstairs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and the adult’s section will be held in the basement from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Event coordinator Kyle Walton designed and built the large maze in the basement of the building. The maze, which must be completed by participants in absolute darkness, features several rooms where volunteers hide out to scare those walking through the maze. This year’s theme for the maze is “Nuclear Explosion.”

“This year, we plan on really scaring everyone who comes through the maze,” Walton said. “We scared a lot of people last year, so I have to step it up this year.”

Walton said student organizations and fraternities from Oswego State volunteer to help with the event. Members of the Black Student Union will be helping with the children’s portion of the event and the brothers of Zeta Beta Tau will be helping with the haunted maze portion.

“ZBT has volunteered for years, so we usually give them the very first room, which sets the tone for the rest of the maze,” Walton said. “Once you begin the maze, you have nowhere to go but forward.”

Walton said last year’s “Halloween at the Y” had well over 800 attendants within a two-hour time frame. He decided to extend the hours of the haunted maze this year, since it was so successful last Halloween, with 400 people visiting the haunted maze. He hopes the results for this year will be just as successful.

“We’re not making any money off of these events, it’s just a family-friendly day,” Walton said. “We wanted to give back to the community and this is just a great way to do it. We have a blast doing it.”

The entry cost to “Halloween at the Y” is one non-perishable food item, which will be donated to the Human Concerns Center, or $1 per person which will go toward funding activities at the YMCA.

After completing the haunted maze, participants have a chance to walk with the undead in the third-annual Zombie Crawl. The crawl begins at 8 p.m. in front of the YMCA.

Coordinator Yvonne Brown said the first portion of the Zombie Crawl is geared toward families, encouraging them to walk down Bridge Street in their best undead costumes.

“Kids get into it more than the adults do,” Brown said. “But we don’t expect the kids to walk all the way down Bridge Street. They get tired, so families usually wander off on their own.”

The crawl is scheduled to end at Greene’s Ale House, which is the second portion of the crawl.

“This is the adult part,” Brown said.  “We go into Greene Ale’s House and they’ll have refreshments and the kitchen will be open.”

Brown said there will be a showing of three movies at Greene’s: “Zombieland,” “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

To encourage Oswego State students and the community to attend both events, the Oswego movie theater will be offering a free small popcorn to anyone who mentions they attended either events.

“The whole purpose for these events is to bring awareness to the YMCA,” Brown said. “They give so much to the community, and we just want to give back.”

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