Minneapolis’ own walking dead

The annual Zombie Pub Crawl kicks off the spooktacular season.

Courtney Johnson

October brings an assortment of chilly and creepy activities, and I am not just talking about haunted houses or trick-or-treating. This Saturday, zombie boys and zombie girls will take over the streets of Minneapolis for the 8th annual Zombie Pub Crawl — Zombie Pub Crawl VIII: Viva la Zombie Pub Crawl. This popular event has taken a tone all of its own, tapping into a more grown-up side of Halloween. Other than crawling from bar to bar while enjoying live music, zombies have the opportunity to meet their alter ego when creating their zombie image and to contribute to local charities in a unique way.

The Zombie Pub Crawl is a community event that has captured plenty of buzz in the Twin Cities. Since it first started in 2005, this pub crawl has produced more zombies every year. This year, the crawl has expanded and will feature two official locations: St. Paul and West Bank. The St. Paul Midway Stadium — Zombie Island, rather — will have access to this zombie affair for all ages in the afternoon. After the sun sets and the clock strikes six, zombie rides continue into the night, fireworks and an attempt to break the record for the largest gathering of zombies will commence. Shenanigans will begin on West Bank at 4 p.m. with live music all through the night. Quite frankly, this seems like it is the event of the season.

The intrigue, popularity and fun associated with the ZPC draws people into this gritty event. Yet, most of the fun for these grimy and gory outfitted participants comes from discovering their own inner zombie.

Fashioning one’s inner zombie is taken very seriously by crawl participants; these zombies go big for the event and truly recreate themselves. Makeup application is the first place these zombie pros start. Knowing how to create cuts, gashes and other zombie-like wounds is considered a basic zombie trick of the trade to them. For first-time zombies, this is a difficult task to handle next to the masterful and experienced pros; yet, lucky for them, zombies don’t judge. Doing whatever you have to do to become one of the walking dead is just fine if that is the look that you are going for. If you decide to become a regular participant of Zombie Pub Crawls to come, your zombie-self will mature and develop in time.

Anybody can become a zombie, it’s all about searching for that inner zombie inside of you and letting him or her manifest itself. A few tricks can be acquired simply by using YouTube videos to create your own zombie look at home.

With the Zombie Pub Crawl’s increase in popularity, awareness and intrigue has also come an apparent high cost for pub crawlers. This is not uncommon among popular pub crawls. Yet, this money does not exclusively go to those running the event. According to the official Zombie Pub Crawl website, “proceeds for the pub crawl pay for entertainment, security, city permits, insurance, porta-potties, stages, barricades, staff and charities.” Donating money to charities is not uncommon among pub crawls either. In fact, it’s a great way to reach out to younger community members who might be less inclined to make donations throughout the year. This year, the Zombie Pub Crawl event is contributing to the Minneapolis Jaycees, the Carver Scott Humane Society and Books for Africa, among many other organizations. Who would have thought so many zombies could do so much good in the world?

Brains and beer is definitely going to be on the menu this Saturday night. Participants will have the opportunity to potentially set world records, contribute to local charities and embrace their inner zombies all at the same time. This sounds like a great way to kick off the Halloween season.