Zombie Pub Crawl conquers all

An inside look at the brains behind all the zombies

By the time the sun went down on October 9, 2010, Carik knew they had finally gone too far.

This was the first year they started charging admission for the crawl, and they thought the $5 fee would thin the crowds from the previous year, when a record 7,000 zombies showed up.

Then 12,000 people came.

Zombie Pub Crawl organizers Chuck Terhark (left) and Jonathan Ackerman get a first glimpse of Premium "Brain Belt"
Andy Mannix
Zombie Pub Crawl organizers Chuck Terhark (left) and Jonathan Ackerman get a first glimpse of Premium "Brain Belt"
Zombies infest northeast Minneapolis during the second annual pub crawl in 2006
Matt Gray
Zombies infest northeast Minneapolis during the second annual pub crawl in 2006

Even in the darkness, Carik could see the hordes of blood-soaked zombies ready to destroy the West Bank, their gray and white makeup reflecting brightly in the street lights. A car drove by, and zombies swarmed it, jumping on the hood and vomiting fake blood on the windshield.

We're fucked, he thought. The riot police are on their way, and we are all going to jail.

"We gotta shut it down! We gotta shut it down!" Carik called out to his friends. "We gotta get these people outta here!"

But it was too late — if they tried to call it off now, the mob would descend into bedlam. Instead, the organizers herded the masses down Cedar Avenue toward the Cabooze, away from the busy streets of Seven Corners.

The cops never came that night, but the next day the entire West Bank was coated in fake blood, and plastic fish bowls from Sgt. Preston's signature drink filled the intersection. Grumpy's had to replace its floor due to damage from the crawl.

"It looked like a war zone," says Holt.

After that chaotic night, Zombie Pub Crawl finally caught the attention of city officials. Ever since, hosting Zombie Pub Crawl has been a full-time job. What began as an excuse to get drunk and act like a zombie with friends is now one of the biggest annual events in Minneapolis, and takes months of planning.

"We're in this world of shit," says Carik, noting he's been trying to sell the crawl. "It takes thousands of hours of discussions.... There's nothing we can do that's going to make some people happy with the event."

Driving to New Ulm in Carik's Ford Bronco, Ackerman passes the time by reading aloud some of the messages people have sent them through Twitter and Facebook.

One woman was charged for eight tickets instead of two, and complained that Zombie Pub Crawl was responsible for her not being able to pay rent.

A collective sigh passes through the car.

The most common gripe is about the price, which began at $20 this year, and recently graduated to $22. There's been so much dissent about the admission this year that someone actually started a counter zombie pub crawl in Anoka.

"They're like, 'I didn't pay the first five years, why should I have to pay now?'" says Holt. "And we're like, 'Because now there's 30,000 people there.'"

By the time they reach Schell's, the brewery has already finished canning the Brain Belt, and is prepping the 50,000 cans for shipping. An employee leads them through the building to where the cases are kept, and everyone lights up at the sight.

"It's pretty awesome," says Ackerman. "It's like, fuck yeah!"

Ackerman posts a picture of the gold, zombie-stamped can to Facebook, and it's quickly met with a deluge of likes and positive comments. Even the normally dour Carik is excited to see the final product.

"How cool is this?" he says, as the Schell's employee begins to give them a private tour of the brewery.

But asked whether the signature beer can changes his mind about the event, Carik catches himself.

"I still hate Zombie Pub Crawl." 

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14 comments
altavista
altavista

Typical of the incompetent Minneapolis City Council----Allow pigs to make a nightmare of the neighborhoods and then force the taxpayers clean up after them. 

dirtyarddesigns
dirtyarddesigns

why isn't anybody talking about how this b.s. destroys the West Bank and local businesses( many of which are Somali -owned) get screwed over. Last year people who lived on Cedar Avenue were not allowed to get home for hours until security got the okay from these drunk ass organizers. Not to mention if anybody else staged a window smashing riot they would be hauled off to jail as " domestic terrorists" .

xd34dl1n3rx
xd34dl1n3rx

Why the fuck do shit bands like DMX and Gin Blossoms get mentioned, but not other bands playing that night who are far superior? What about Impaler and Exodus? Really, any zombie should be over listening to those bands instead of that other shit music. DMX and zombies? Really? How fucking lame.

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

Sorry it's gotten kind of lame now. What used to be a semi-alt  night of fun is now a massive pub crawl in makeup.

 

DeRushaJ
DeRushaJ

@s4xton @_taylor_ NORMALLY DOUR! @zombiepubcrawl @citypages

solace
solace

@s4xton Bad Request Your browser sent a request that this server could not understand. Apache/2.2.3 (Red Hat) http://t.co/zUo8XjpC Port 80

laxx1559
laxx1559

 @xd34dl1n3rx zomg DMX and Gin Blossoms! How could they feature music that OTHER people like?!

tomelko
tomelko

@s4xton @ForkKnifeSpoon It helps that I've actually heard @_taylor_ say all those things. Multiple times.

s4xton
s4xton

@solace weird. I went back to my original Tweet, clicked it, works on my end. cc: @edkohler

solace
solace

@s4xton @edkohler yeah, working now

 
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