Zombie crawl invades Cedar Riverside

Nearly 5,000 undead swarmed the streets of the West Bank at Zombie Pub Crawl V: It’s Starting to Stink.

Felicia Mitchell of Bloomington gets into character during the fifth annual Minneapolis Zombie Pub Crawl on Saturday at Gold Medal Park.

Felicia Mitchell of Bloomington gets into character during the fifth annual Minneapolis Zombie Pub Crawl on Saturday at Gold Medal Park.

Anissa Stocks

Brains were on the mind and, for some, the menu Saturday night, as thousands of partiers gathered for the fifth annual Zombie Pub Crawl through the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. First descending on GrumpyâÄôs Bar and ending at the Cabooze with a post-party DJ set, the crawl promised to be the biggest and goriest yet âÄî and it didnâÄôt disappoint. This year, an estimated 5,000 partiers swarmed the streets groaning for brains, booze and a good time. Local bar owners said the crawl boosted business, bringing in unmatched profits for most. Nate Hackney , a senior ecology major, roamed the West Bank as a 1980s zombie for his first zombie pub crawl Saturday night. âÄúItâÄôs zombie time,âÄù he said. âÄúMy friends and I went all out for this. One friend dressed as a dead MC Hammer, with a boom box on his shoulder âĦ A 50-year-old lady got out of her car at a stop light and started dancing with him, which was definitely worth walking in the cold to see.âÄù Zombies moved from drink special to drink special throughout the night, beginning at 4 p.m. at Gold Medal Park where humans turned dead with an hour of âÄúzombifying.âÄù West Bank bars like the Acadia Café and the Corner Bar were among 15 participating bars in the crawl. Julianna Bryarly , owner of the Acadia Café, said that the crawl is the most profitable and busiest night of the year for her business. âÄúItâÄôs a unique opportunity to host so many people from all backgrounds in one night,âÄù she said. âÄúThis was our second year participating since we moved locations, and I know that there will be many more to come.âÄù The Acadia Café tempted zombies into its realm by serving âÄúsmoked limbsâÄù (turkey legs) and a beer called âÄúDead Guy AleâÄù until there was no more left. Bands such as Hunger Bone and ButcherâÄôs Bag played throughout the night for hoards of zombie brides and an occasional undead Nazi. âÄúIt just so happens that the bandsâÄô names worked so well with the crawlâÄôs theme,âÄù Bryarly said. The Corner Bar offered its undead customers hours of âÄúzombieokeâÄù and a $3 Pabst Blue Ribbon drink special. âÄúWeâÄôre just on the way during their trek down the areaâÄôs streets, but we enjoy being in the way,âÄù said Tommy Thompson , manager of the Corner Bar, which has participated in the crawl for three years. âÄúIt is great business and a fun way for people to get into the [spirit of Halloween],âÄù he said. âÄúThe crawl always attracts us good business during an already busy time of year because of the football and baseball seasons.âÄù Zombies that stumbled into the Nomad were greeted with the âÄúsatanic surf-rockâÄù sounds of the band Lusurfer , playing devilish songs from Black Sabbath and Megadeth for bar-goers. Outside, undead men battled each other on a bocce ball court. âÄúThe Nomad was the place to be. The lines to get in were crazy,âÄù said University alumnus Kareem Ahmed , who couldnâÄôt get into the bar due to the lines. MC/VL , a Minneapolis-based hip-hop duo, also performed at the Cabooze. âÄú[The Cabooze] delivered this year,âÄù Ahmed said. âÄúI spent a few bucks at the Goodwill for a costume and came out to have a good time.âÄù The Minneapolis Fire Department responded to overcrowding at PrestonâÄôs Urban Pub , a Seven Corners bar. âÄúThis is the craziest night of the year on the West Bank,âÄù said Kurt Rasmussen , 28, of Minneapolis. âÄúIâÄôve been waiting since last October for the Zombie Pub Crawl.âÄù Hackney said the crawl is more than a good time and that he will participate in the future. âÄúThis is a community event,âÄù he said. âÄúItâÄôs perfect for anyone who wants to try something a little different than whatâÄôs typical.âÄù