Picture a street festival spanning an entire block; now imagine that street is taken from a post-apocalyptic nightmare like the walking dead. Nightmare on Chicago Street puts guests into a post-apocalyptic nightmare for a night of fun and screams. The...
Picture a street festival spanning an entire block; now imagine that street is taken from a post-apocalyptic nightmare like the walking dead. Nightmare on Chicago Street puts guests into a post-apocalyptic nightmare for a night of fun and screams. The story follows the Zombie Defense Initiative, an organization establishing a “safe zone” from zombies yearly. Guests enter the safe zone, which is the street festival area, and hope nothing goes wrong. Today, we’ll learn more about this event from the art director and ‘mistress of disinformation.’ Follow along to our Hauntathon: https://linktr.ee/hauntedattractionnetwork
Freddrick Wimms: I'm Freddrick Wimms. I'm the art director for Nightmare on Chicago Street and also work with the city of Elgin.
Alice Moring: I'm Alice Moring, I'm the Mistress of Disinformation for Nightmare on Chicago Street.
Freddrick Wimms: So, Nightmare on Chicago Street, to describe it to a newcomer, is the format of a street festival. But that format, that street festival, is taking like the set of Walking Dead and recreating it on the streets of downtown Elgin. When I say that, it's like making that movie set as real as possible. I mean flipping up cars, boarding up windows, throwing blood and guts down the street, and debris, and then bringing in the tanks. After that we got helicopter flyovers and stuff like that, and that's just like the bare bones of the event. After that, we bring up entertainment by building 3 stages of entertainment throughout the event. So, there will be music from the beginning to the end of the event. Other than that, there is also a surprise performance on the ground with the people, we're talking about break dancers, cage dancers, fire eaters, night eaters, and going on and on and on. This is our 10-year anniversary.
Alice Moring: Every year there's a mutation that happens. It's an invasion of the undead is what's going on, and so we're protecting our downtown and we're inviting everybody into the safe zone. This year we suspect that there's a really horrible mutation that's taking place that involves the history of Elgin, and our hidden downtown underground area.
Freddrick Wimms: There's a reason that our slogan this year is, "they're back." It's not only meaning us, but something else that's creeping below. Other than that, just the fact that it is our 10 year, we're kind of celebrating the last nine years of this event. So, we got some things that we're showcasing from every year that built up to this 10th, and that's through, you know, performances and actors, you will see it on the streets. Yeah, we got a lot of surprises for our tenth year. We always beat out year before that, and then this year we're trying to beat out the two years of loss of COVID, right? And coming back. So, we got some extreme cool surprises.
Alice Moring: The history, apparently Elgin has had a zombie issue throughout the years, and then about 12 years ago, it just really became an issue. So, this Zombie Defense Initiative, this core of citizens, got together to create this protected downtown environment. But apparently this history of zombie uprisings in Elgin goes back quite a few years, we just weren't aware until 2011 when it came back. The event is October 22nd. Tickets will start at $25 for those early birds that really get them right away, and then they're going to increase to $35, and then at the gate the night of they'll be $40.
Freddrick Wimms: I think one of the things that you should know when you come to the Nightmare, we welcome you to dress up in costume and come in an array of costumes and the fun in that. There is a costume contest, well, we're working on the costume contest, I shouldn't say. We usually have one, and Svengoolie judges that one. Other than that, plan on staying, there's things to do before and after.
Freddrick Wimms: So, come before the event, come out to eat, have lunch, and then stay and come back, and come into the gates. Then after, Evil Intentions Haunted House is our next-door neighbor, and we're planning to do stuff together with them. So, you can go to that after coming to our events. Then get a hotel, if you're out of town we've got hotel packages, and stay and get the shuttle that comes in. So, when you drink, because there will be drinking in this, you can go home safe, get a shuttle back to your hotel.
Freddrick Wimms: Other than that, dress for the weather. If it's cold, you need to dress warm. We are outdoor event. There are some avenues to get indoors to be warm, but just be aware for the weather. We will be there no matter what the weather is, other than pouring, pouring, pouring rain, but other than that the event will go on.
Alice Moring: So, on America's Got Talent, the Pack Drumline, they're also going to be drumming through the streets and we're going to get them up on the stage at Nightmare on Chicago Street. So, we're really excited about that.
Freddrick Wimms: And they're from Chicago, so it's just like the perfect fit for us.