Zombie Prom returns for second year


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The living dead, dressed in bloody tuxedos and ripped dresses, will invade Iowa City's RiverFest and groove to the tunes of local artists at the Zombie Prom.

The second Zombie Prom will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday in the IMU second-floor ballroom. The night will feature bands, food, and deadly dance moves. Zombie Prom is free and open to the public of all ages.

"We try to have wall-to-wall music playing until they kick us out," said University of Iowa junior and RiverFest marketing director Nico Ward. "Last year, we had a lot of dancing, aggressive and vigorous zombie dancing."

This year's lineup features mostly bands from Iowa City and the rest from Iowa, said UI senior and RiverFest executive director Josh Messer. There will be performances by Limbs, Quasi, Mooseknuckle, and Phantom Vibrations.

"It was one of the events that went over the best, which was surprising, because it was something new that we tried out," Ward said. "Frankly, we got a really strong response to it in terms of attendance and people asking us to do it again this year. So it's nice to have something that's a staple or tradition."

The Zombie Prom evolved from a battle-of-the-bands idea. RiverFest organizers wanted something with music and a theme in the second-floor ballroom, and they wanted something different from the standard '80s part, Ward said.

"[Last year] we had a lot of people in full-blown prom outfits like torn-up suits. Even the bands participated with costumes," Ward said. "And we do make up there. So if for some reason people don't have zombie makeup lying around at home, we have people there to help. It's a frenzy of people in various forms of zombification."

Along with the music and dancing, food will go along with the theme. Zombies attending the event will feast on spare ribs.

"The best part about it is that we're still able do to it for free. There is free music, food, dancing, and face painting," Messer said. "I think we really have something for everyone. We really cater to the hungry collegiate music fan, and there's a lot of us."

The Zombie Prom is one of the final events in the festivities of the annual RiverFest.

"This is a great way to support the local music scene, and everyone is welcome," Messer said. "It's a delight to help put something on like this. It makes me really happy to see people who didn't intend on checking it out stop by; it usually makes their weekend."

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