One reason why I love Seattle so damn much is the quirky little neighborhoods like Fremont. The place has it all: a troll under the bridge, statue of Lenin, even a sign post with lots of unique locations marked on it. The one thing about this place that is just magnetic though, is the enthusiasm the neighborhood has for the zombie walks that happen throughout the year. I briefly spoke about zombie walks before, but didn’t really get into the gory details, so let me elaborate.
Zombie Walk [zom-bee wawk] verb.
The gathering of a large group of people dressed up as zombies walking through public areas. This group is likely to “eat” innocent bystanders and encourage spontaneous participation in the rest of the walk.
ZomBcon International (the group of zombie enthusiasts based around Fremont) organized an annual gathering for the past couple years. Patrons would show up in costume, or get their zombie makeup done on site for free (donations recommended). It was a giant street party with a beer garden and performing stage for local artists; and Seattle has some really great local musicians. After spending 3 or 4 hours listening to music and doing a mass-dance to Michael Jackson’s Thriller, the gates would open and the official walk would begin flooding the streets and local businesses with zombies.
Hmmm, lets get everybody drunk, dress them up as zombies, and send them out in a massive horde. Sounds like a TERRIBLE idea doesn’t it. There actually has been no vandalism/property damage during one of the zombie walks. HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN? I don’t know, maybe everything got erased from the zombie’s memories except for common decency. Either way that’s always amazed the hell out of me. Unfortunately this year’s 2012 zombie walk had to be cancelled due to funding. Sad day for Fremont.
Seattle just loves its zombies though, and the Seattle Zombies group (yet another group of zombie enthusiasts) initiates various events throughout the year. On April 28th, 2012 during the Seattle to Bremerton ferry ride the Seattle Zombies took the boat over for the hour long ride, infecting everybody out of their cars on the boat. There was no chance anybody stood a chance. As reported on their website, they were not only met with enthusiasm from little kids to grandparents, but they ran out of “victim” tags for the first time. They’re also planning another takeover of the light rail public transportation system, coming up on Friday, May 25th.
They just don’t stop. It’s almost like an eventual city-wide takeover is on the horizon, I really think that it’s only a matter of time before this idea is realized. If asked to be a member of a zombie walk most people would say no, but saturate the area around them with a zombie horde not intent on anarchy but actually (slightly messy) fun, you’d be surprised how many people play along and convert.
First city to be fully taken over by zombies? My bet goes to Seattle sometime in the next 5 years.
UPDATE: The Fremont zombie walk made enough money this year to still operate and pulled in sponsors from local radio stations, car dealerships, and outreach programs.