Beware, the zombie apocalypse is coming.
The Cartersville Public Library is preparing for an invasion of animated corpses Tuesday, Oct. 27, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. when young people ages 12 to 18 take over the branch at 429 W. Main St. for an after-hours Nerf battle to end all Nerf battles.
“Bring a Nerf gun, and we just let you run wild in the library and shoot your friends,” children’s librarian assistant Miranda Norrod said, noting teens are “definitely” encouraged to dress like zombies for the event.
To help prepare teens for the battle, the library had a Horror Tie-Dyeing event Thursday, where they created zombie-inspired T-shirts to wear for the apocalypse.
The idea came from the library’s teen advisory board, led by Youth Services Coordinator Thomas Shalin, Norrod said.
“Once a month, Thomas meets with them, and they suggest things that they think would be cool, and we try to incorporate as much of that as possible,” she said. “A Halloween-themed tie-dye came from their minds, and so we turned it into kind of a bloody-themed zombie T-shirt.”
She added the library has done tie-dye events before during summer reading programs “so it wasn’t too far of a stretch — it’s a pretty simple craft.”
Listening to Halloween-themed music, Norrod showed three teens how to bunch up their T-shirts and rubber-band them in ways to create a bull’s-eye, swirl or camouflage pattern.
Once they finished rubber-banding their shirts, the teens, wearing plastic smocks and gloves, squirted red and blue dye on their white shirts until they got just the right look.
Norrod then told them to place their shirt in a plastic bag, and when they got home, remove the rubber bands and hang it up outside to dry overnight. She also gave them instructions for washing and drying the shirts.
“[Tie-dyeing] is really fun if you get a bunch of different colors and a bunch of different T-shirts and just go crazy,” she said.
Mary-Kate Billings, a dual-enrollment student at Georgia Cyber Academy and Georgia Highlands College, said she wanted to try her hand at tie-dyeing since she’d never done it before.
“They said it was a Halloween-themed tie-dye, so I thought it would be a good idea,” said the 16-year-old junior, who is planning to attend the zombie apocalypse. “It was really fun. It was messy, but it was very fun.”
She added she’ll also wear her shirt to school “and maybe on Halloween — we’ll see.”
Thirteen-year-old Jami Folkes said she wanted to make a shirt to wear to the zombie event.
The home-schooled eighth- and ninth-grader said she had done tie-dye once before at a Girl Scout camp.
“It’s fun,” she said. “Normally, we have a bunch of colors and stuff, but it’s fun.”
Mubin Henderson, 12, also had never done tie-dyeing before.
“It was kind of cool,” the Cartersville Middle School seventh-grader said, noting he was looking for something fun to do.
Norrod invited the teens to the zombie apocalypse and told them they were “more than welcome to wear your shirt to that and look like a zombie.”
“Bring a Nerf gun and any Nerf bullets, and then at the end of the day, we actually shut the library down, kick all the grown-ups out, and then we just let all the teenagers loose, and they get to shoot each other with their Nerf guns in the library,” she said.
Young people can register to attend the event at the teen desk or in the children’s department. For information, call the library at 770-382-4203.