The Zombie Pub Crawl is the longest running event of its kind in the USA. The first Minneapolis Zombie Pub Crawl was in 2005 with somewhere around 100-150 zombies visiting bars in Northeast Minneapolis. Since then, the number of zombies has almost doubled every year.
In 2007, the Zombie Pub Crawl moved from Northeast Minneapolis to the West Bank, Cedar Riverside, where the bars are denser and the public transit is more convenient, to be better able to handle the increasing number of zombies attending.
By 2009, thousands of zombies were attending the crawl - estimates range from 4,000-6,000 zombies. Overcrowding, some incidents of violence and broken windows marred the hitherto peaceful crawl.
In 2010, the Zombie Pub Crawl became more organized and regulated. Now, any zombie who wants to drink in any of the bars on the Zombie Pub Crawl will need a wristband, which can be purchased in advance or on the day, and are only available for over 21's. Part of the revenue from wristband sales will cover security staff on the streets during the crawl, and some goes to charities.
But, the West Bank isn't big enough for all the zombies. For 2012, the Zombie Pub Crawl will have two locations. Minneapolis' West Bank, as usual, and new for 2012, "Zombie Island", Midway Stadium in St. Paul.
What's happening in Minneapolis? Several bars in the West Bank will have live music outside. The Cabooze, Acadia Cafe, Triple Rock Social Club, the Nomad World Pub, the Red Sea will all have live music outside. Many other bars in the area have drink specials and are zombie-friendly. Wristbands are absolutely needed to get into all of these venues. The Gin Blossoms are playing at the Caboose, Exodus are playing at the Triple Rock, and about 30 other bands are playing at these and the other venues.
What's happening in St. Paul? Midway Stadium, AKA Zombie Island has music headlined by DMX, fireworks, and a Zombie Carnival (free rides for all zombies!).
There will also be a record attempt for the largest zombie gathering in St. Paul. The official record belongs to a 4000-strong zombie walk in New Jersey. The Minneapolis event claims three times that number last year, and tried to prove it last year in St. Paul. Guinness said that they needed more evidence, so the ZPC is trying again. So, if you want to be part of a world record, plan on being in Midway Stadium/zombie Island at 8 p.m. to be counted. (Free carnival rides too!)
Getting to the Zombie Pub Crawl - Parking for the Zombie Pub Crawl
The organizers estimate over 10,000 zombies will be at this year's Zombie Pub Crawl. Cedar-Riverside, surrounded by the University of Minneapolis, downtown, river and freeway will have nowhere enough parking for all the zombies.
Some free parking for the Zombie Pub Crawl can be found in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood but you'll need to get there very early - there isn't very much street parking here.
There are several University of Minnesota pay parking ramps right in Cedar Riverside, which will also likely fill up early. There are also many places to park in downtown Minneapolis, around Washington Avenue.
Parking at Midway Stadium/Zombie Island is at the State Fair parking lots, with free shuttles to Zombie Island and the West Bank. The best way to get to the Zombie Pub Crawl is to bike, or use public transit. The light rail runs right through the heart of the crawl, and several Metro Transit buses too. If your starting point isn't on public transit, you can park and ride on the light rail from several stations, including Fort Snelling station.
Zombie Makeup TipsZombie costumes are perfect for the lazy and for the industrious creatives alike. Rip up some old clothes, splatter some blood and you are done. For only slightly more effort, bury the clothes in the yard for a week first. Or get more creative. Zombie Micheal Jacksons, zombie brides, zombie astronauts, zombie Mariachi bands, zombie presidents, zombie 1950s housewives, and zombie Lady Gagas were spotted last year, as well as a small, terrified number of zombie hunters.
Here's ideas for how to make a zombie costume, and a tutorial for zombie makeup, and recipes for fake blood. And where can you get zombie makeup supplies in Minneapolis and St. Paul? My favorite Halloween stores are Twin Cities Magic and Costume in St. Paul, and Ax Man in St. Paul, St. Louis Park, Fridley and Crystal, have plenty of Halloween costume making supplies, which you may or may not have known you needed.