Zombie Mania!
Image taken from: perpetualpublishing.com.

Zombie Mania!

(The Verge) – The Asbury Park Zombie Walk on Saturday October 5th has gone down in history – in the Guinness World Records book that is. The Asbury Park boardwalk was crawling with the undead, and broke the record for largest zombie gathering, with an astounding count of 9,592 zombies.
Counting the ghouls was made possible by use of turnstiles, which zombie-folk had to walk through to gather on the beach. According to the Asbury Park Press, The N.J. Zombie Walk was the record-holder in October 2010 with a count of 4,093 zombies. However, a group in Minneapolis took the lead last year, when their zombie gathering numbered 8,027 undead walkers.
The Asbury Park Press reported that Jason Meehan of Neptune, the creator and director of the New Jersey Zombie Walk partnered with N.J.’s Stronger than the Storm campaign this year, in order to raise awareness for the cause, and to promote that “The Jersey Shore Lives!” a slogan that was proclaimed throughout the event, and shone boldly on a sign hung from the Asbury Park’s Boardwalk Hall. As reported by NJ.com, Meehan congratulated the crowd of zombies on their accomplishment. “You guys are awesome…You just showed the world that the Jersey Shore is back and that we are the zombie capital of the world!” said Meehan.

A photo of the eerie entrance sign at the event. Photo courtesy of: Amanda Gruber.
A photo of the eerie entrance sign at the event. Photo courtesy of: Amanda Gruber.

So what exactly is a Zombie Walk? According to njzombiewalk.com, a zombie walk is an organized gathering of individuals who dress up in zombie costumes and makeup. These walks most frequently occur in urban areas at shopping malls or town squares. During a Zombie Walk, participants are encouraged to remain in character–which includes lurching, dragging limbs, and communicating in zombie fashion (i.e. grunting, moaning, or yearning for “BRAIIIINS”).
The Zombie Walk proved to be an eventful day for everyone! From young, face-painted toddlers, to costume-donning pets, thousands of the undead rose from the grave to shamble along the boardwalk and streets of Asbury Park to take back the world record. The event did not just end with the walk, the entire day was filled with zombie-fied activities for the dead and living alike to participate in.
Main information and souvenir tables opened on the boardwalk starting at 10A.M. According to the  NJ Zombie Walk Website, free basic make-up stations were set up in collaboration with the local group “Move For Hunger” to restock local food pantries. With the donation of a canned good, walkers were eligible for a zombie makeover. The Central Jersey Blood Center also set up a bloodmobile in front of the Stone Pony to accept donations.
The Guinness World Record Counting began at 3P.M. and their guidelines stated that participants must be in makeup and costume in order to be included in the count. Once zombies traveled through the turnstiles and onto the beach, they were unable to leave before the walk began, unless they wished to be disqualified from the official count. According to NJ.com, there were thousands of zombies who attended the event, but chose not to be included in the World Record count – and an additional 400 zombies were counted by officials, but had to be disqualified after they left the beach.
At 5P.M. the Zombie Walk began! Following the final Guinness World Record count, zombies were permitted to make their way back onto the boardwalk, and begin lurching and staggering towards downtown Asbury. Live music and celebration continued on Cookman Avenue and in the surrounding area late into the night, as the undead celebrated their World Record success.
As the ‘walkers’ (made popular on AMC’s The Walking Dead) trudged down Asbury, one could argue both the young and old just had a hell of a time–an ironic term for the hellish monsters that cannot reach this final destination!
See all you zombies next year!!

 

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