Zombies will once again be groaning and dragging their way through downtown Hastings.
The Hastings Downtown Center Association organized Return of the Hastings Zombie Walk for this Saturday after more than 300 people participated in the city's inaugural zombie walk in 2012.
"I was just so impressed with the makeup and costuming last year," HDCA Director Jessi Hoeft said. "I couldn't believe it. It was like Hollywood-quality makeup. It was just really impressive."
She said recent movies and TV shows such as "The Walking Dead" add to zombies' popularity.
"I think people just gather for the love of the zombies and all that brings," she said.
Zombies are to gather at 6 p.m. Saturday at the old middle school parking lot at Seventh Street and Hastings Avenue. Members of the resistance, those fighting zombies, are to gather at that same time at Second Street and St. Joseph Avenue with the walk to kickoff around 6:15 p.m.
An addition of the resistance is new this year.
"I don't know how many people will step up to defend against the zombie hoard," Hoeft said.
As a fundraiser for its Renew Campaign, the Hastings Public Library is offering zombie makeup stations for a free-will donation from 3-5:30 p.m. at the library, 517 W. Fourth St.
The library will play host to a free movie for sixth- through 12th-graders at 8 p.m.
The walk, anticipated to last about two hours, goes south along Hastings Avenue to Second Street, east to St. Joseph Avenue, west along First Street to Lincoln Avenue and back north to Seventh Street.
The route will be clearly marked and participants are asked to stay on sidewalks.
"It's not a race to see who can get to the end first," Hoeft said. "It's just kind of this slow, meandering zombie walk that happens."
It is definitely a photo opportunity, she said.
"For people who don't feel like they want to dress up and be part of the walk, it's still something to see," she said. "You're welcome to sit in downtown Hastings in your cars or along the sidewalk in the Blue Moon or one of the other cafes and watch it happen.
"For the businesses that are open later it blends into their regular Saturday night activities."
The event includes a handful of guidelines, all of which are listed in the event posting on the HDCA Facebook page, but basically boil down to be courteous and don't leave any blood or other zombie bodily fluids behind.
"We didn't have any problems there last year," Hoeft said. "They're just there as a reminder that these zombies are only visiting for the weekend and aren't actually sticking around, so we don't want to see any remnants of them afterward."