After years of hearing about the New Jersey Zombie Walk, I finally had a free weekend when I was able to attend. So instead of letting the opportunity pass by me, I slathered some make-up on my face, grabbed my fiancée and headed down to the Paramount Theater in Asbury Park. Having never experience a Zombie Walk before, I had no idea what to expect. However, when I pulled up to the boardwalk along the New Jersey coast, I was greeted with thousands of zombies, each one excited to participate in the festivities.
The New Jersey Zombie Walk is held in conjunction with the Undead Festival, a sort of horror convention which boasts such celebrities as Marvel Zombies artist Arthur Suydam and animation legend Ollie Mongo, as well as a host of actors and creators of zombie movies, characters, and more. The Undead Festival offered fans the chance to take part in a meet-and-greet of these celebrities, get autographs and take part in interview panels. Sadly, I was not able to be part of the Undead Festival, choosing to concentrate my energies into the Walk itself.
As we reached the boardwalk, we had about 20 minutes to spare before the walk began. In that time, we saw a host of interesting Zombies in all sorts of costumes, including a Snow White zombie, a Trekker zombie, and even A League Of Their Own zombie. One special treat was a live re-enactment of Michael Jackson’s iconic Thriller dance, by a large performance troupe. Luckily, I was able to snag video of the performance.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xg_DmFdkBPM[/youtube]
As the walk started, participants were reminded of the only two rules pertaining to the Zombie Walk. The first being No Fast Zombies, the organizers choosing to use George Romero’s zombie style as canon. The second rule is that the only word allowed to be said during the walk is “BRAINS”. The walk began, and participants were flanked on all sides by onlookers, some of whom took pictures, some pointed out the interesting costumes to each other, while others wonder what sort of person would cover themselves in make-up and walk along the Asbury Park boardwalk.
The Walk itself clocked in right about one mile, taking participants through the streets of downtown Asbury Park. Police cars closed off side streets to ensure zombie safety. The Walk gathered quite a bit of spectators as people watched out from their apartment windows at the spectacle below.
Once the zombies reached the end point of the walk, goodies and treats were handed out from a makeshift stage, including books, posters, gift cards to Sideshow Collectibles and the holy grail of giveaways, a The Walking Dead action figure by McFarlane Toys. By the end of the giveaway, participants just wandered around the town at their leisure, enjoying the different shops and restaurants that Asbury Park has to offer, including a neat little horror/occult shop named Paranormal NJ, which must do rather well during the Zombie Walk.
All in all, the Zombie Walk was a fun event to take part in. The best part is that the New Jersey Zombie Walk still holds the Guinness World Record for largest zombie gathering, so it’s especially awesome to take part in something that has previously set records. The New Jersey Zombie Walk is a lot of fun, and I would certainly recommend being a part of it if you are in the area, and I will definitely be attending it again next year.