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'Walking dead' roam through Connellsville streets while kids have fun at East Park and visitors enjoy a 'horro...

| Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013, 9:06 p.m.
Lori C. Padilla | For the Daily Courier
Zombies took over Connellsville on Saturday, chasing runners during the first Zombie Run in Connellsville. Brittany Craig (left) of Connellsville and Bruce Madeya of Uniontown hang out by the train tracks waiting for participants to chase.
Lori Padilla | For the Daily Courier
Margel Guie of Connellsville got into the spirit of the Connellsville Zombie Run, trading her profession as a family physician in town for a zombie doctor during the race.
Nancy Henry | For the Daily Courier
Young zombies Alyssa McFadden, Adalina Zolbrod, Gwineth Snyder and Anna Tzan try to distract runners attention as they pass by on the path through East Park.
Lori Padilla | For the Daily Courier
Luka Murphy, 2, of Connellsville was more interested in checking out the leaves than trick-or-treating in his lion's outfit. Adrienne Murphy helped him get a better view while walking in East Park at the Halloween Boo.
Lori C. Padilla | For the Daily Courier
Zombies waited around every corner during the first Zombie Run on Saturday. Runners had to avoid losing the flags on their belts to the zombies who throughout the route. Brooke Tibbe of Uniontown tries to avoid zombie Corey Swetz as he comes out of the bush to grab the flag.
Marilyn Forbes | For the Daily Courier
Prospect Street in Connellsville is filled with racers and spectators at the start Running Dead race on Saturday.
Nancy Henry | For the Daily Courier
Zombies Emily and Sarah Monahan are ready to attack the runners as they come through the dimly lit East Park tunnel.
Lori Padilla | For the Daily Courier
Nika Hiles, 8, of Uniontown came to East Park on Saturday to trick-or-treat during the Connellsville Recreation Board's Halloween Boo afternoon. Sammy Tzan passed out treats to visitors while in his gangster costume.
Lori Padilla | For the Daily Courier
The Connellsville Community Center hosted a horror movie fest Saturday leading up to the performance of 'Rocky Horror Picture Show.' The original 'Night of the Living Dead' and other old movies were shown during the day in the Porter Theatre.
Lori Padilla | For the Daily Courier
'Rocky Horror Picture Show' fans Mary Kay Cribbs-Habit (left), Paula L. Johnston and Christine Johnston brought along a doll of their favorite character, Dr. Frank N. Furter brought to life in the movie by Tim Curry.
Lori C. Padilla | For the Daily Courier
RiffRaff (Kyle Cayton, bottom) and Dr. Frank N. Furter (Tyler Handford) react with the characters on the screen, bringing 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' to life on Saturday at the Porter Theatre.
Lori C. Padilla | For the Daily Courier
The 1975 cult classic 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' was brought to life on Saturday at the Porter Theatre. The movie boasts character dance scenes and opportunities to join in. Kyle Cayton (left) as RiffRaff, Stephanie Glowacki as Columbia and Andrea Cayton as Magenta danced 'The Time Warp' along with the movie and audience.
Lori C. Padilla | For the Daily Courier
Halloween Boo at East Park boasted a bounce house brought in by Hip Hop Horray for ghosts and gouls to jump around in while trick-or-treating at the park.
Lori C. Padilla | For the Daily Courier
Ian Nicholson (right) gets into the Halloween spirit, as assistant stylist Cassie Stout of Fantastic Sam's sprays color his hair on Saturday morning while visiting the Zombie Run.
Lori C. Padilla | For the Daily Courier
The Zombie Olympics required the eating of 'brains' on Saturday afternoon following the first Zombie Run in Connellsville. Crissy Nicholson of Connellsville takes a big bite of 'brains,' made of Jello, gummie worms and other candy.
Lori C. Padilla | For the Daily Courier
Visitors to the first Annual Zombie Run were able to get 'zombiefied' with make-up applied by Mike Kraus of Baldwin. Fifteen-year-old Angelina Critchfield goes under the airbrush while Tom Owens of Daisytown keeps close eye.
Lori C. Padilla | For the Daily Courier
The first Connellsville Zombie Run crowned two runners on Saturday in first and third place successfully avoiding zombies and making it to the finish line. Brian Suter (left) of Connellsville was first across to break the tape with Josh Campbell on Connellsville coming in third.
Lori C. Padilla | For the Daily Courier
The D.M.N.T. Detective Agency pose with a copy of the Daily Courier as part of their scavenger hunt instructions. Diana Gomillion, Marcie Sankston, Natalie Crouse and Tash Davis took part in the first Halloween City Scavenger Hunt on Saturday afternoon sponsored by the Connellsville Community Center. Each costumed team traveled around town collecting items and photographing answers to their list.
Lori C. Padilla | For the Daily Courier
A map of Connellsville was a tough item for some teams to find during their city-wide scavenger hunt on Saturday afternoon. Team Ghostbusters members Kris Azzardi and Zach Blackstone pose next to the map which is at Yough Park in Connellsville.

Zombies roamed the streets of Connellsville on Saturday while kids enjoyed Halloween activities in East Park and visitors to the Edwin Porter Theater in the Connellsville Community Center had their choice of a variety of “horror' classics, including the cult classic “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” after a scavenger hunt throughout the town and Halloween experiences at the Carnegie Free Library on Pittsburgh Street.

A large crowd gathered on Prospect Street in front of the former Conn-Area Catholic School Building on Saturday morning as they awaited for the start of the Running Dead race. More than 250 runners and zombies ran the streets of Connellsville.

The event was organized by city residents Jeff Monahan, Gary Colatch and Mark Hofmann.

A portion of the proceeds from the event went to the CAHS Patriots. The group helped out on Saturday and with organizing the run. The remaining portion of the proceeds will be used as seed money for the event which is planned for next year.

At East Park, the second annual Boo in East Park was held, welcoming more than 200 kids and family members.

The event was sponsored by the Connellsville Recreation Board, where members and volunteers helped children in events that included pumpkins, candy, a bounce house and an obstacle course that was part of the Running Dead race.

The event was held all afternoon as kids came to East Park to get candy, show off their costumes, decorate pumpkins and take part in the fun, Recreation Board member Greg Lincoln said.

Hundreds attended the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” at the Edwin Porter Theater in the Connellsville Community Center, and organizers were also excited about the turnout for the first scavenger hunt the community center hosted.

“We had about 250 in attendance and most people can't wait until next year,” said Angela Hamman, who helped organize the “Rocky Horror” performance at the Porter. She said about half of those in attendance at the 11 p.m. showing dressed in costumes.

Organizers of the Running Dead run and Boo in East Park and community center events were proud of the turnouts.

“I'm really amazed. We had much larger crowds then we had anticipated. We had heard that similar events in other towns drew big crowds, but we had no idea how something like this would do in the town of Connellsville,” Hofmann said.

Lincoln said the Boo in the Park was so well attended, organizers ran out of pumpkins.

He said the event was successful due to the support of the community including donations received from the Polish Club, the Slovak Club, the VFW, the Moose and Martins. There was also a bounce house that was donated by owners Tom and Adrian Murphy who own Hip Hop Hurray.

Many adults showed up at East Park for the event in costume, enjoying the Halloween fun along with the younger children.

Participants in the Running Dead race said they enjoyed it — it was something different.

Brian Hineman of Dunbar Township dressed as a zombie. “It's not often that you can get all dressed up crazy and go out and have some fun and not have people looking at you like you‘re weird. This is cool.”

Monahan, Colatch and Hofmann began planning the event several months ago. They wanted to bring something new and fresh to the city — not only for participants — but also to draw attention to the City of Connellsville.

“This is a good way to bring people into Connellsville itself and hopefully they will have a good experience and want to come back,“ Monahan said. Monahan said the three men already have ideas for next year.

Runners waited patiently along Prospect Street while the zombies were bussed to 14 locations along the route where they tried to snatch flags from the runners.

“We've been excited about this for months,” said Scott Provance of Connellsville as he prepared for the race in full zombie garb. “I think that this is a great way to bring the community together.”

CAHS Patriots volunteers supported Saturday's run.

“I thought that this would be a fun thing to do,” said Samuel Fabian, a Patriots volunteer. Fabian, 16, staffed the Patriots booth, which was selling hot dogs. “This is different and fun and it took a lot of effort from the people that planned this to make this work.”

Participants in the race came from far and near, including some from neighboring West Virginia and Ohio.

“We heard about this from some people that we knew and thought that we'd try it,” said Hunter Toothman from Morgantown.

“We are planning to make this an annual thing now,” said Leah Casto, also from Morgantown.

Hofmann said as they start planning for next year's event, organizers will use this inaugural event as a guide.

“This was our first one and everything didn't go exactly as we had planned, but we'll learn from that for next year,” Hofmann said.

Organizers promised the registration process will be tweaked and the course changed or at least altered.

“People commented on the first hill (Prospect Street) that maybe it was too steep but other then that, they said it was great,” he said.

The winner of the run was Brian Suter of Connellsville.

“Next year we will definitely be doing some things different but we know now that the interest is here,” Hofmann said. “People seemed like they really enjoyed this and we are still in shook over the response that we received.”

Hamman said that since the “Rocky Horror” showing was so successful, community center officials are planning to show the film more then once next October.

“Next year we will do four shows, one every Saturday in October,” Hamman said.

“I think that the zombie run showed that people are interested and we had a great turnout at the Boo in East Park,” Lincoln said. “I heard some great things about the other events and everyone seemed to have a good time. Overall, it was a great day to be in Connellsville.”

Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer.

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