MARTINEZ -- October is the month when eerie sounds fill the air and scary black cats cross paths. There are carved pumpkins, flying witches and spooky ghosts. And it is again time for zombies seeking craft brew beer to roam downtown Martinez.

They'll be able to sample from at least 25 craft breweries inside small businesses along Main Street, said Leanne Peterson, director of Main Street Martinez.

"There are 23 signed up, plus we are using a vacant building where we will have up to eight more breweries represented," Peterson said.

She said last year's inaugural event was a great success, particularly with the number of people embracing the zombie theme and showing up in costume.

"We are prepared for up to 800 (visitors) this year," Peterson said.

Although zombie attire is not mandatory to participate in the beer-tasting event, there will be prizes awarded for the best individual costume as well as the best group costume.

Additionally, stylists at Citrus Salon on Main Street say they'll be happy to help with "zombie makeup" during the event for those who need or would like it.

Do-it-yourselfers can watch a video, get step-by-step instructions and a shopping list for walking dead makeup by visiting the Zombie Beer Crawl website. The site also has a link to putting together a simple but effectively scary costume.

Costume judging will take place immediately following the brew crawl outside Creek Monkey Tap House, 611 Escobar St., where the crawl begins and ends, said Peterson. This is also the stop for the free shuttle from the North Concord BART Station.

Participants check in at Creek Monkey Tap House and receive a wristband, map and tasting glass. The map will show the location of participating businesses and the beers they are serving.

This year, some of the participating brewers include Altamont Beer Works, Drakes Brewing Co., E.J. Phair Brewing Co., Heretic Brewery, Lost Coast Brewing Co., Napa Smith Brewery, Pyramid Brewing, Rock Steady and Strike Brewing Co.

"Only those that have checked in will receive wristbands ... will be served," Peterson said.

She cautions people to check their tickets carefully as no refunds will be issued for any reason. All proceeds from the event go to the nonprofit Main Street Martinez.

In addition to the beers being poured, some of the businesses will have snacks, and many of the downtown restaurants will be open. Peterson said there will also be brewing representatives to talk about craft beer.

if you go
What: Zombie Beer Crawl
Where: Main Street Martinez
When: 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday
Cost: $25 per person in advance, $35 per person at the door (if not sold out). Five or more zombies $20 per person (available online only)
Transportation: Free shuttle 1:30 to 9 p.m. to and from North Concord BART/Creek Monkey Tap House, 611 Escobar St., Martinez
Information/Tickets: www.ZombieBrewCrawl.com