Zombies return to Holt

Zombies and mutants add extra excitement during Chernobyl MilSim’s immersive live-action role play at Holt School. (Photos courtesy Dako Morfey, Chernobyl MilSim)

CRESTVIEW, Fla., June 23, 2021—Zombies are returning to Holt School this weekend.

The S.T.A.L.K.E.R.S live-action role play, or LARP, returns to Holt for the third and final chapter of the video game. The acronym stands for scavengers, trespassers, adventurers, loners, killers, explorers and robbers.

Holt School again is the setting for a weekend of battling other factions based on the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. video game, plus fighting off the occasional mutant or zombie, Chernobyl MilSim owner and event organizer Dako Morfey said.

The company’s decision to return to Holt even though Chernobyl MilSim has game locations around the country was easy, he said.

“The overwhelming support in the north Okaloosa County area is a major contributing factor to us continuing to bring our event to Holt,” said Morfey. “The people here are truly unique and inviting.”

For example, while he and his staff were setting up for the April MILSIM, several Holt residents came by to alert them to an Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office hunt for armed suspects who had been spotted in the area.

“They were as concerned for our safety as if we were long-time neighbors,” said Morfey. “Another time, a local business sent us pizzas, and another place invited my staff and me over for breakfast.”

That local hospitality could translate into more tax-paying residents for north Okaloosa County as well.

“People are just so friendly, and local officials so accommodating and eager to help facilitate our LARPs that many of our staff are considering relocating to the area,” Morfey said.

A S.T.A.L.K.E.R. defends his post in The Zone during Chernobyl MilSim’s April live-action role play in Holt.

Meanwhile, area residents can count on seeing strangers in unusual uniforms—plus a few zombies and mutants—prowling around Holt School.

Clad in Eastern European uniform components from the early 2000s and 2010s, participants spend the weekend from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon completely within the confines of The Zone, a fictitious locale based on the real-life Chernobyl Exclusion Zone where the April 1986 nuclear power plant disaster took place.

Participant S.T.A.L.K.E.R.S can expect much of the same action, fun and rough-and-tumble they experienced in January and April, but with new twists and surprises, Morfey said.

“We plan to continue hosting events in Holt and Crestview, and want to give all the locals who’ve made us feel so at home our sincere gratitude,” said Morfey.

Brian Hughes

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