Zombie Pub Crawl exhumed from West Bank

Zombies walk the streets of Minneapolis’ Cedar Riverside neighborhood in 2010. Photo courtesy of zman z28, Creative Commons via Flickr.

Fake blood-makers rejoice! The Zombie Pub Crawl is back.

This October will mark the 10th time that drunk people dressed as zombies have taken to the streets of Minneapolis. But some changes are afoot for the city’s annual infestation of walking dead.

The event, which attracted about 30,000 people for each of the previous three years, was bursting the seams of the Cedar Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis. The event elicited groans from some locals.

This year, the zombie crawl has legs. Organizers are moving it to Minneapolis’ Warehouse District. Co-founder and organizer Chuck Terhark said this will be the event’s smallest geographic footprint.

“There wasn’t really room in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood for all those zombies,” Terhark said. “We’d gotten around that problem by shuttling them over to St. Paul for a couple years, which worked, but the shuttles were kind of a nightmare logistically.”

The first two pub crawls were held in northeast Minneapolis. But the Cedar Riverside neighborhood, and its earthy bars like Palmers and The Nomad, have been home to the pub crawl for the last seven years.

Cedar Riverside “is still easily my favorite neighborhood in the city, I think it’s the most vibrant and the most interesting neighborhood in town,”  Terhark said. “It does kind of suck to not work with those bars again this year — hopefully we can go back there eventually.”

Zombies and entertainment this year will largely be relegated to the strip of bars on 1st Avenue in the Warehouse District. Terhark said there will be two main stages for entertainment, with performers announced in August, and a variety of food trucks and other activities at the dozen or so bars on the block.  Organizers expect to sell about 25,000 tickets.

And the contagion is spreading. The pub crawl’s organizers are hosting their first event outside Minneapolis this fall. Kansas City’s Zombie Pub Crawl will take place in the city’s Westport neighborhood on Oct. 4. Tickets are on sale now.

In the last few years, the event has even started to claw in some money.

“I keep thinking the zombie trend is going to die out,” Terhark said. “As they say, it just won’t die.”

[Note: Terhark still has a sense of humor after all these years of zombie puns. I asked whether he ever heard any fresh comments? His response: “It’s all pretty rotten to me.”]