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Local Halloween events kick off with Zombie Zoup Run


October 25, 2017

FIle Photo RUNNERS dodge “zombies” during last year’s race.

Zombies might be a battlefield obstacle and perhaps tools for Rick Grimes and company in the full-blown war with Negan and the Saviors in Sunday’s premier of “The Walking Dead,” but things will be different, more peaceful, much more peaceful, in Sweet Home Saturday, Oct. 28, as the undead provide a harmless backdrop to the Halloween season Zombie Zoup Run.

Runners and walkers – the living kind – are invited to the Jim Riggs Community Center, 880 18th Ave., to participate in the second annual Zombie Zoup Run and Great Community Soup Event.

“The run actually starts at 10 a.m.” said organizer Lisa Gourley. “Prior to it, they’re going to do a flash mob.”

The city’s Youth Advisory Council is organizing that, she said. At the Community Center, zombie scenes will flash on a big screen.

The Zombie Zoup Run will take runners and walkers along an easy 2-mile course through Sweet Home’s South Hills trail system and a covered bridge back to the Community Center, where survivors will receive a memento of their accomplishment and free admission into the Great Community Soup Event, which begins at 11 a.m. in the gym.

Zombies will be spread out along the route, Gourley said.

Bruce Hobbs and Sunshine Industries are organizing and preparing the zombies.

“It makes it more fun,” Gourley said. “It’s the only zombie run in the Willamette Valley.”

Survivors will vote for the best zombie team, best zombie couple, adult zombie, teen zombie and child zombie, who will receive awards from local area merchants.

The registration fee is $20 to participate as a survivor. Cost is $25 on the day of the event.

More information can be found at, including online registration, zombie and volunteer information.

Links to paper registration forms are also available online and at Sweet Home City Hall at 1140 12th Avenue in Sweet Home.

There’s more than just dodging the undead.

“If you are not into zombies, the Great Community Soup Event is just for you,” said Pat Gray, city finance director and also an organizer.

It will be held at from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with more than 10 varieties of all-you-can-eat soup and rolls, served by local restaurants and cooks.

“Right now, I think we’re sitting at 12 different kinds of soup,” Gourley said. Providers include A&W, the Point and Spoleto’s. Safeway is donating the rolls, and Dutch Bros. is donating chocolate milk.

Admission for families is $20. Individuals are $10. There will be pies for sale, pumpkins to judge and fun activities for children to do during the event.

Proceeds from both events will be used to purchase event structures such as canopies, chairs and tables that organizations can borrow for fund-raising events in Sweet Home.

Last year, the Zombie Zoup Run attracted about 100 runners, Gourley said. The soup event drew 200.

“I expect to see it grow by a third or half again,” she said. “I expect that to happen every year because of how fun it is.

“I think it’ll be a lot of fun. It’ll be a great time.”

The events still need more volunteers, Gourley said. Anyone who is interested in volunteering or seeking further information may contact her at (541) 974-3457.


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