Welcome To Zombie Square

Normally, we're ready to boast that Market Square is the liveliest place around. After all, just about anytime of the day, there's something great happening in the Square. But this Saturday — from noon- 9 p.m. — the heart of city goes completely "undead" when an expected 5,000-plus bodies rise from the grave for the ghoulish return of Zombie Fest and Walk in the Square.

The "brains" child behind the family friendly Zombie Fest is Mark Menhold, whose unbeautiful mind dreamed up this creepy celebration of the walking dead among us. And just to prove that zombies can indeed be the "life" of a party, there will be ghastly games during the Zombie Olympics, straight from the crypt cuisine that's to die for and death metal hardcore tunes from Four Barrel Ghost and Fistfight in the Parking Lot for a real monster mash. And did we mention that it's all for a good cause?

That's right. While zombies usually prowl for fresh flesh, these walking dead will help feed hungry Pittsburghers with donations of non-perishable food items for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. Sure, they might be stone-cold lifeless killers, but you can't say that Pittsburgh's zombies don't have a heart — and if they don't, they'll settle for just about any other body part. Speaking of worthy causes, cash donations will be accepted for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure fund to battle breast cancer.

Just so that everyone has a little skin — not to mention blood and guts — in this game, Zombie Fest 2011 is looking to recapture bragging rights to the world's record for the largest single-day gathering of the undead. Right now, Seattle claims the title at 4,522. So Mark is urging as many of the area's zombies to get working on their worst looks to bring home the crown to the city of the living dead. Best of all, being part of the fun at Zombie Fest's second year in the Square won't cost you an arm and leg — literally — because admission is absolutely free.

If zombie watching is more your style, drop by the Square this Saturday, grab a cafe seat at your favorite Square watering hole or eatery, order your favorite dish and beverage and take in all the gut-busting sights during this one of a kind invasion of the world's most lovable creatures from the crypt. Who knows, you might even end up dancing in the street with a zombie conga line.

For the full schedule of events check out the official website: PittsburghZombieFest.com

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