Creatures of the night are slated to gather at Ziggy’s on Sunday for a party with a decidedly unique theme.
City native Aquilla Reid is gearing up to host a Season Finale Walking Dead Show Costume Party that she calls “the most alluring theme party experience anyone has ever seen.” As its name suggests, the party, which begins at 8 p.m., will coincide with the 9 p.m. culmination episode of the current season of the popular AMC network show. Reid will also use the party as a platform to introduce members of the local community to her online music and art publication, TheEclektikSunshine Magazine.
“This is going to be a formal introduction of the magazine,” explained the self described “Queen of Theme,” who is already dreaming up her next shindig. “It’s just a chance to give Winston a different type of fun.”
Like the magazine, the party will feature an eclectic mix of food from local vendors, special guests and live entertainment. Yadkinville resident Craig Bond will lend his support to the party, putting his prowess as a monster makeup artist to work for partygoers, for a small fee. Bond, a graphic artist, painter and sculptor, has worked for over a decade as an art director and makeup artist at a haunted house in Pilot Mountain.
“Doing this, showing the show live like they’re doing, I think is great because I think the more that we can get people together, the better,” noted the 37-year-old, a friend of Reid’s. “Whether it’s zombies or whatever, it gets people out of the house and off the Internet.”
Reid is hopeful that the party will prove to be an unforgettable event that generates buzz about the magazine for months to come. Although she has an affinity for the show, which prominently featured former city resident Jeryl Prescott Sales among its cast of characters in early episodes, Reid said the party and the magazine are all about embracing the lighter side of life.
“The sun shines, no matter whether you see it (or not) it’s always shining,” Reid said in reference to the naming of the magazine, which she launched two years ago. “I just want to make people happy.”
EclektikSunshine pays homage to all things unique, unusual and original. She says it regularly attracts readers from across the nation and abroad and features a hodgepodge of content, with a focus on the unique, from family owned eateries to one-of-a-kind fashions and crafts.
“At the end of the day, there’s a little something in there for everybody,” Reid said.
In a word, Reid is a survivor. Over the course of her 38 years, the mother of two has faced addiction, abuse and serious illness. Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia five years ago, Reid, a recovering alcoholic, was bedridden for months on end. The pain she experienced because of her disease led to a dependence on narcotics, she said.
“It was a very long hard road,” she said of her path from the throes of addiction to recovery. “I burnt bridges. I screwed up a lot of of opportunities … but God kept me through all of that.”
When she began work on the magazine from her sickbed in 2012, her life started looking up. She began battling her addictions in earnest, relying on faith and sheer determination to achieve sobriety, which she says she has maintained for over a year.
“I did it with no AA. I didn’t have a sponsor –God is my sponsor,” she remarked, adding that her two sons also inspired her to clean up her act. “…What keeps me going is what I do.”
Although she never runs out of ideas, Reid says her cash flow isn’t so abundant. She is cleaning a local business to pay the bills while she works to grow the magazine, and build what she hopes will someday become a legacy for her children.
“Never let somebody tell you that you can’t do a certain thing because you don’t have any money,” she declared. “I started this magazine with nothing, but I’m going to come out with a lot – you know why? Because it’s not about me. It’s about others, and I feel like that’s what I was put on this planet for. My blessing is coming.”
Reid says the challenges she has faced in life have strengthened her faith and helped her to hone in on what’s important.
“We all need to find things in our lives that bring us comfort, and when you’ve been stripped of everything and all you have is God, you figure it out,” she declared. “You’ll find a way.”
The Season Finale Walking Dead Show Costume Party is open to adults age 18 and up. Doors at Ziggy’s, 170 W. 9th St., open at 8 p.m. on Sunday, March 30, and the season finale will be shown promptly at 9 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. For more information, visit www.ziggyrock.net, www.eclektiksunshine.com or find the magazine on Facebook.