TRAVERSE CITY — Add another quirky event to Northport’s growing list.
The community known for its dog parade and senior skydive is rolling out its first Zombie Prom Saturday from 9:30-11 p.m. Members of the walking dead can brush off their best tattered prom attire and brush up on their monster mash moves, then hit the dance floor at Lelu Café at the corner of Nagonaba and Waukazoo. A Zombie Pub Crawl will follow.
The event is a fundraiser for the recently formed Northport Arts Association, which aims to provide venues for artists on the Leelanau Peninsula to display their work. But officials hope it also will benefit the village’s merchants.
“It gets really quiet in Northport after September,” said arts association president Clare Gengarelly, owner of Red Mullein gallery and wearable art. “What I’ve been pushing for is that we have some big event every month to bring people to town.
“Zombie Proms are fun. It’s not stodgy. And it’s something that’s never been done in Northport,” said Gengarelly, who plans to wear a “bloody” Japanese kimono at the event.
Besides dancing to music spun by a DJ, the prom will feature a silent auction of art and spooky stuff, donated by some of the association’s 35 members, including Tom Woodruff, primarily known for his illustrations and stained glass. His painting, “Zombie Prom,” captures the undead in a joyous moonlit dance.
Other highlights include a cash bar and finger food and the crowning of a zombie king and queen and their court, who will receive gift certificates from local merchants.
Gengarelly said the Zombie Prom was inspired by a similar event attended by her daughter, Liz, last year in Columbus, Ohio, and the AMC series “The Walking Dead,” which Liz and her dad “religiously” watch.
“At Halloween you get to be spooky and creepy, and that’s fun for people,” said Liz Gengarelly, also of Northport, who plans to create her own zombie makeup for the event with gelatin and food coloring. “And mixing that with dance is pretty much a good time.”
Admission is $12 at the door for zombies and other spooky folk. Proceeds will support projects of the Northport Arts Association.
“Our plan down the road, hopefully next year, is to have a juried art show,” Clare Gengarelly said. “Eventually we’d like to be as effective as arts groups in Leland and Glen Arbor.”
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