‘The Walking Dead Escape’ coming to BR in April

The Walking Dead Escape, a zombie-theme obstacle course inspired by the hit AMC television series, will come to the River Center Arena on April 24, the first stop on a national tour.

During a news conference Tuesday, East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Kip Holden proclaimed the day The Walking Dead Escape Day and issued a certificate to David Isaacs, the president of Skybound EXP, which publishes “The Walking Dead” comic book and video game series and owns the obstacle course event.

“Instead of just watching it or playing it, they can feel like they’re living it,” Isaacs said. “They are thrust into this world where seemingly anything can happen.”

Six Baton Rouge residents, who won a River Center Facebook contest to appear in movie-quality zombie make-up, were led into the news conference on chains by men in police-issue riot gear.

“I didn’t know if you had found several of my ex-girlfriends or homeboys around,” Holden said, eyeing the zombies offstage.

“The Walking Dead” television series, which follows the survivors of a zombie apocalypse, is the No. 1 television show for viewers 18 to 49 years of age, and the video game version, released last year, won several awards, Isaac said.

“There is definitely something different about ‘The Walking Dead,’ ” Isaacs said. “It’s really about people and the choices they make.”

Seeking to capitalize on television and video game success, Skybound decided to take the obstacle course on tour.

It debuted at San Diego’s Petco Park in 2012 as part of a comic book convention before Skybound took the event to three other cities in 2013.

“We really want to bring the power of ‘The Walking Dead’ and the visceral experience to life,” Isaacs said of the course.

Participants can choose to attend the event, which runs from 6 p.m. to midnight, as survivors of a zombie apocalypse, zombies in search of the living or just spectators.

The course will be a mile long and will take 30 to 45 minutes to complete, Isaacs said.

Registration is at TheWalkingDeadEscape.com.