*Note: This article was written for MTSU Sidelines on April 13, 2016. To read the original article, click here.
Story & Photos by Emily Austin // Staff Writer
Walker Stalker Con hit Nashville for the first time on Saturday and Sunday, bringing fans closer to the cast of The Walking Dead.
Held at the Music City Center, fans had the chance for photo-ops, autographs and meet-and-greets with some of their favorite actors. Guests included Tom Payne (Jesus), Emily Kinney (Beth), Katelyn Nacon (Enid), Michael Cudlitz (Abraham), Josh McDermitt (Eugene) and many more. Unscheduled guest Chandler Riggs (Carl) also showed up on Sunday, greeted by screaming fans upon his arrival. Although the wait times to meet these celebrity guests were long, by the look on the fans’ faces after snapping a photo, it was certainly worth it.
“We’re from Canada, actually,” said Tammy Mungar who attended with Chris Board. “We traveled here specifically for this convention.”
Swarms of people stood outside in the chilly air early in the morning, hoping to be among the first people in line to get into the convention. Walker Stalker Con gave the experience of a lifetime for the apocalyptic obsessed. Vendors sold many different kinds of merchandise including original artwork, shirts, swords, masks and even 3D action figures that could be made in the likeness of congoers. As the convention continued throughout the day, the crowds got bigger with many dressed as walkers or characters from the show such as Carl, Beth, and the newest villain, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan.)
Panels at the convention allowed fans to have Q-and-As with celebrities not only from The Walking Dead, but also Bates Motel, The Vampire Diaries and others. Horror legends Kane Hodder (Jason) and Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger) also made appearances alongside stars from Gotham and Breaking Bad. Musical guest Kateyln Nacon also performed, who uploaded videos of herself singing on her YouTube channel before becoming Enid on The Walking Dead.
Walker Stalker Con gave the chance for anyone to help with the convention by volunteering. Those who filled out the form on their website could help out with panels, photo ops, line control and more. After the convention was over, they were even able to have the celebrities sign their volunteer shirt for free.
“Working Walker Stalker was one of the best experiences of my life,” said volunteer Laurel Wood. “The fact that I got to work Chandler Rigg’s line was like a dream come true, really. I enjoyed seeing all the types of people who attend and volunteer as well. People travel from all over the place. It’s like a huge family of Walking Dead fans.”
Fully immersive, real-life activities were also a favorite where fans of the show could truly dive into the world of zombies. Called “The Walking Dead Experience – Chapter 1,” survivor groups of seven were dropped into a small town on the night of the outbreak for about 30 minutes. Those who chose to be walkers got their makeup professionally done and performed as ghoulish zombies. The “Zombie Apocalypse Experience” was also available, which is a live action experience where people are given Tactical Laser M4s to kill off hordes of zombies.
Check out our photos from the convention below: