Zombies take over part of the island

The Zombie Ride is one of the largest participant events of the year in Key West.
The Zombie Ride is one of the largest participant events of the year in Key West. WLRN

Calling all zombies.

Brush off the graveyard dust and break out your wheels for the sixth annual Zombie Bike Ride in Key West.

Originated by WeCycle owner Evan Haskell and WonderDog Studios Director Marky Pierson, the four-mile pedaling parade of ghouls on wheels Sunday begins with a pre-event fest starting at 2 p.m. at the Fort East Martello, 3501 S. Roosevelt Blvd. The actual ride starts at 6.

Activities at the fort include DJBell ringing out groovy beats, mural painting by eight artists, body painting, food vendors, beer and wine, a kids zone, registration prizes and zombie giveaways for those that officially register for the $5 ride. After defraying event costs, a portion of the proceeds is to benefit the Key West Art & Historical Society and the Montessori Children's School.

The ride itself is a pre-Halloween tradition. It typically draws several thousand men, women and children — and even a few pets — garbed in ragged costumes and frightening face and body makeup. At 6 p.m., the unruly undead are to depart the fort. The route takes them down South Roosevelt Boulevard beside the Atlantic Ocean, past Higgs Beach and into parts of Key West's Old Town.

The antics culminate in the ZombieFest Street Party in the 100, 200 and 300 blocks of Duval Street.

Bike rentals are available for delivery from wecyclekw.com. Fo more information on the Zombie Bike Ride, call (305) 294-7433 or visit zombiebikeride.com.