This is an open letter to the politicians, media and business owners of St. Thomas and area. A lot of people do not yet see how huge this opportunity can be for our town. This letter tries to help in that regard so please use it to inform where you can. Many thanks to all our supporters!
“Hi my name is Bryan Bakker and as a fellow business owner in St. Thomas I have met many of you. Please, let me tell you a little bit about the St. Thomas Tom Zombie Festival being held in Pinafore Park on June 29th and how it could affect downtown St. Thomas. The festival includes a `Zombie Walk` component that would require Talbot Street to be closed to traffic for about two hours between 4pm and 6pm. We are going to approach the city to have the stretch between Hepburn Park in the west, to the CASO station in the east, closed, during that time frame. I’ll be going before the Special Events committee in early May and then city council, soon after, as they will have to take a vote on whether the benefits of having this walk in the downtown core are worth the inconvenience.”
“If you have never heard of the’ Zombie Walk’ phenomenon before, it all started in the year 2000 and now almost every major city on the planet has some version, usually held around Halloween. The largest on record was in St. Paul Minneapolis last year where 30,000 people dressed as zombies and walked Main Street. This ‘Tom Zombie Festival’ is meant to take advantage of this amazing popularity and bottom line, bring NEW dollars to St. Thomas. That is why I encourage you to see this walk as a great opportunity, not just for our town but for your business.”
“The weekend of the 29th is busy already with the airshow, Can-fest, fireworks, the Sparta 200th Anniversary celebrations, and others. These events stand to BENEFIT greatly by supporting The St. Thomas Tom Zombie Festival. Our sophisticated marketing plan is just getting started and we have already gotten a stunning amount of attention. Indeed many of you may have already heard something of what we are planning. All this and not a single press release has been sent out. In fact we’ve been asking those in the media who are already interested to hold off until this week before running any stories. This should tell you something of the excitement and sense of fun that this type of project engenders.”
“Our plan is to build worldwide appeal. If we can make St. Thomas the home of a world renowned and praised zombie festival it could literally bring many millions of NEW dollars to our town. As for the people who will come they are costume enthusiasts who like to dress up and love horror movies; nothing more, nothing less. They are no different from you, your children or grandchildren, but they could come from far and wide if we do this right and if we can get your support.”
“What would 500 to 2000 extra bodies do for our town over the summer months? What if that number were 3000 or 4000 or higher? I can`t guarantee anything but if timing is any indication the time is right to embrace the zombie walk phenomenon and invite it here to our home town. It appeals to a younger demographic, you can theme your business easily using the Halloween supplies I`m sure many of you have in your garage and it will be fun and exciting to have such a new and vibrate sub-culture adventuring in our fair town.”
“Also, and perhaps most importantly, this festival is about supporting local teens. All the proceeds from this year`s festival will be going to the It Takes 2 Youth Leadership Institute; a local non-profit centre trying to improve the lives of teens at risk. In this era, teens need our support as a community more than ever and this is a great way to show it. A festival that isn`t built around beer tents but simply dressing up, getting out of yourself for a while, and having fun.”
(NOTE: the festival itself will have only lite snacks and drinks available on the grounds. If you own a restaurant you will very likely see a few zombies come in for a bite to eat. I recommend carrying a “Brains Burger” on that day!)
“Thank you for your consideration of this project and please show your support by liking our Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/tomzombiefestival ) The official website will be ready very soon (http://www.tomzombiefestival.com/) and there are numerous sponsorship opportunities available. Also there will be teens dressed as zombies around town periodically asking business owners to put up posters, etc. Please give them a few moments of your time and let them explain to you why they love zombies and why they are volunteering for this exciting project.”
“My very best regards and please feel free to contact me with any questions.”
Chairperson of the St. Thomas Tom Zombie Festival Planning Committee and President of Bizbio Inc.