“The people from Nebraska are scared shitless right now,” a random voice shouted from the crowd on Fremont Street Saturday night. No, the hookers and homeless weren’t the ones terrifying tourists; it was the group of undead souls stumbling along as they invaded Downtown for the Valentine’s Zombie Walk.
The event, organized by Matt Farmer and Dana Anderson, was a pub crawl that began at the Main Street stage and ended at Vanguard Lounge, where all zombies enjoyed half-priced cocktails. As the name implies, zombie-wear was highly encouraged, and the participants spared no detail: blood-stained button-downs, blackened eyes and teeth, post-mortem decay, gashes and slashes were standard issue among the participants. While walking from bar to bar, a few of the living dead decided to put the zombie into the walk itself, complete with grunting and blank-eyed gazes.
“We thought it would be ironic to do a zombie Valentine’s walk for the novelty of going against Valentine’s Day—to throw the tourists off and to make Valentine’s fun for the Downtown hipster kids,” Farmer said.
By those standards, the event achieved its goal. Tourists were in awe—asking the zombies to pose for photos with them or snapping shots of the crew from afar with their cell phones—and the zombies seemed to be having fun too. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the walk, however, was that it was advertised solely on Facebook. Farmer and Anderson decided to organize the walk based on popular demand from a previous zombie stroll’s participants. With no flyers up or press previewing the march, it still managed to attract around 40 of the walking dead.
“It has a lot to do with something cool on a shitty holiday,” said Anderson. And local zombie Emily Miller agreed. “It’s a fun way to celebrate Valentine’s Day in an alternative way.”
Indeed the night had none of Valentine’s usual trappings. No chocolate hearts here; while bar-hopping, the zombies stopped to dance to live music on Fremont Street and even rode the zip line. They were everywhere, hungry for brains and beer.
“We want to make mayhem!” Anderson said.