You already knew that Minnesota was the coolest state on neither coast, but Zombie Pub Crawl (ZPC) is just one more reason why. On 13 Oct 2012, around 30,000 people dressed as zombies and painted the “Twin Cities” of Minneapolis and St. Paul red. With fake blood.
The Zombie Pub Crawl is like Mardi Gras crossed with Halloween for adults. It’s a combination of several things:
- A Halloween costume party
- A block party
- A reason to eat, drink, dance…. and drink some more.
- A bloodbath
Streets were blocked off, food trucks and portapotties set up along the block, bands and DJ’s blasted, and bars made a literal killing. Music acts included the Gin Blossoms, DMX, Exodus, The Sex Rays and more. A shuttle bus trucked loads of zombies back and forth between the two locations. August Shell Brewing Company, local brewers of Grain Belt Premium Beer and sponsors of ZPC, released a limited edition beer called Brain Belt Cranium just for the event. There was a giant slide, a gigantic inflatable zombie, and even a foam pit.
OK, so maybe it was the foam pit, but there is definitely a point where you realize something has gotten out of hand. Just ask Taylor Carik, who thought it would be fun for him and his handful of friends to theme out their annual pub crawl by dressing as zombies. Eight years later, the Zombie Pub Crawl has grown to “zombie apocalypse” proportions. Estimates are between 30,000 and 40,000 people attended. They should have no problem breaking the Guinness Book of World Records for the “Largest Gathering of Zombies”. A recent interview with Taylor in the City Pages shows the level of planning needed to pull off an event of this magnitude.
Tips for Attending the Zombie Pub Crawl
Technically, you don’t HAVE to dress like a zombie for this event, but if you don’t, there are people who will find you and spray you down with fake blood. Or cover themselves with fake blood and hug you. Or drag you into the foam pit. (true story…) So at the very least, do not wear anything you care about. Some of the fake blood does not come out of cloth, and takes a while for the color to fade away on hair and skin. However, ZPC is a good way to get rid of unfitting, unfashionable or unwanted clothing. Shred em, douse them with fake blood, and you are in. Paint your face white, eyes black and lips blood red. Seriously, you cannot overdo the makeup.
It’s even better if you can theme your zombiness. Last year, I was a hit as a zombified “The Dude” from the Big Lebowski. This year, I was a dignified zombie steampunker with cane, tophat and monocle. I saw a Zombie Elvis, Paramedics, Police and Firemen. Even a zombie Spongebob Squarepants, if you can imagine such a thing. Lots of wedding dresses, and lots of people in cleansuits. I’ll point out that my mother dressed as a zombie bride back in Halloween 2007 and had talked about the idea for years before that, so I think it’s safe to give her some credit for the fashion trend. And sexy zombies are always in fashion. There was a gigantic zombie donkey that dubsteped through the crowd. A good costume or makeup will get you asked for lots of pix.
Zombie Pub Crawl Tip 2 – Buy Tix in Advance
Anyone who’s been to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival can tell you – buy your tickets early. Pre-event tickets are cheaper and you bypass the line to buy tickets at the door. I heard that ZPC came close to selling out of tickets this year, and you definitely don’t want to get all dressed up only to get shunned at the gate.
You might want to grab a bite before heading down there too. The food trucks are an interesting combination of foody and spendy meaning you’ll pay a lot for very little.
Zombie Pub Crawl Tip 3 – Be Fun, Have Fun
One of the great things about ZPC is that it’s in Minnesota. People from Minnesota are joiners, and they are nice unless they are driving. They are especially nice when they dress as zombies, drink beer and listen to dubstep. So come, eat, drink, be bloody. Bring a camera. Take lots of pics and share them. Bring fake blood and apply liberally to yourself and others. It’s one of the few times it’s OK to spray bodily fluids on one another in public.
And never pass up the opportunity to start up the zombie chant:
What do we want? Braaains!
When do we want them? Braaains!
Zombie Pub Crawl Tip 4 – Be Safe
One reason this event has grown so large is simple – its fun for you and your friends to dress and act all silly, and people from Minneapolis aren’t likely to start a riot while they’re having fun. So no hatin’. Save all your ‘come at me bro’ for the country bars.
And do not drink and drive. Minnesota pays the state electric bill with all the fees they charge people for driving under the influence, so don’t do it.
Also, zombies are fairly unsanitary to say the least, so you might wanna bring some hand sanitizer. Just sayin.