- Associated Press - Saturday, May 31, 2014

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) - Visitors to Grand Island might find it looking a bit ghoulish this weekend.

The central Nebraska city is hosting its third Zombies in the Heartland - a three-day zombie-themed shooting competition that began Friday. About 500 shooters from 26 states were expected to participate, The Grand Island Independent reported (https://bit.ly/1m1f9cd ).

Ten competitive stages and a handful of side stages presented different scenarios for targeting the undead.

One stage is set up like a construction site, while another looks like an abandoned amusement park. Still another mimics a city street with an abandoned bus and an overturned car.

Competitors shoot at zombie targets hidden throughout the scenes.



Matt Barr came from northern Texas to participate in the shooting event - his first one with a zombie theme. He heard about it from friends who had attended.

“I heard the event was good, the town was good, and the people and the food were good,” Barr said.

The zombie theme appeals to beginning and younger shooters, said Bill Starkey, superintendent of Grand Island’s shooting park.

The competition’s prize assortment has grown over the last three years and is now worth $250,000, he said.

“We give things away at random so everyone has the opportunity to win,” Starkey said.

He said the idea for Zombies in the Heartland came from a friend who went to a similar event in Minnesota. After researching zombie shooting events, Starkey decided it was the “perfect marriage of shooting sports and fun.”

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Information from: The Grand Island Independent, https://www.theindependent.com

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