Downtown Long Beach was invaded by a zombie apocalypse on Saturday, Oct. 26 where hordes of rotting undead bodies were spread throughout the city streets prowling aimlessly trying to satisfy one thing: their hunger.
Sections of the streets were closed off from Pine Avenue to The Promenade to make way for the Sixth Annual Zombie Walk Festival where excited zombie fans and attendees gathered to show their love for the undead.
The one-day event consisted of live music, outdoor zombie films, horror vendors, exhibitors and thousands of zombies staggering around.
The Zombie Walk began in 2009 as a simple event to promote a screening of George A. Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead.” Each year, the walk has expanded in attendance and has helped turn the event into a festival.
“It was so popular that the group did it again…and we decided to make an annual event of it,” said Logan Crow, Executive Director of Long Beach Cinematheque.
Entry into the event was $15 and granted access to two classic zombie films by Romero, “Night of the Living Dead” and “Dawn of the Dead,” as well as multiple concerts that played throughout the festival. All proceeds went to the Long Beach Cinematheque, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating audiences through the art of cinema.
Thousands of attendees showed off their finest zombie ensemble and for those who forgot their costumes at home, makeup artists were on display to turn attendees into a ravenous undead for a small fee.
“People really get into the role. When everyone around you is dressed the same way, they start interacting with each other like zombies. They’ll start chasing people,” said Crow.
For those attendees who chose not to dress the part, they were instantly seen as prey for the zombies. While some attendees kept true to the traditional role of the zombie walk, slow and limp with the occasional moan, other participants portrayed the viral infectious zombies that move at a quicker pace.
“Where else can you come to an event where people dress up as zombies and chase you? It’s a blast! It’s like I’m in my own horror movie,” said Mia Cook, a first-time attendee.
Despite all the blood, gore and chasing, children seemed to enjoy the festival. Many of them even joined in on the transformation from human to zombie.
“I’m not scared now, because I’m a zombie too,” said 10-year-old Juan Vazquez.
Zombies have a huge following as shown by the huge attendance in this event, which means this craze will not be dying off anytime soon.
“Zombies are huge right now. They’re everywhere. You have zombie-themed commercials, shows like “The Walking Dead” and films like “World War Z”,” said Freddie Mill, a first-time attendee.
The Zombie Walk Festival is expected to make a return in October 2014. For more information, visit www.zombiewalklb.com