Saturday, October 11, 2014

New Jersey Zombie Walk 2014



In my efforts to showcase all the unique and wonderful experiences NJ has to offer, I recently came across the  NJ Zombie Walk. This is not only a FREE event which takes place every October in Asbury Park, it is THE zombie walk of all zombie walks, holding the Guinness World Record for most Zombies ever recorded in one location in 2013. And best of all, this year the walk is for charity! 

NJ Zombie walk 2014
Aeriel photo of this years walk courtesy of NJzombiewalk.com


Called Grey matters, the event is to help benefit brain cancer, with donations and a portion of the merchandise proceeds going to Camp Jinka, a free summer program for children whose lives were affected by the disease.

When I read they were going to attempt to break their own record this year, I of course had to be part of this historical moment and got Larissa from The Traveling Mortician on board as well. Unfortunately, the weather the day of the event did not cooperate. Pouring rain and high winds plagued Asbury Park until about 2pm, at which time the sky cleared up and it became a beautiful afternoon. But, the event started at 10am with a planned festival, professional make up tent, charity auction, etc - which all had to now had to find a spot indoors to set up.

The record breaking event was to take place at 4, but due to the rain delay it was moved until 5pm. Larissa did an amazing job zombifying us with Latex, toilet paper (yes you read that right) and some zombie make up and we wore shirts tattered with fake blood spatter. We arrived around 4pm to find most other zombies had the same idea and were just arriving as well.

NJ zombie walk 2014
Our Zombie look
People really went all out with their make up and the creativity in some of the costumes amazed me. 

NJ Zombie walk 2014
This guy even perfected the groaning... amazing costume!

NJ zombie walk 2014
Zombies keep up with current events
NJ Zombie walk 2014
Love the idea of a zombie popping out of a body bag!
NJ zombie walk 2014 sponge bob
Who doesn't love Zombie spongebob?
Here is where things get a little disorganized, possibly due to the weather, as there was a very muffled announcement coming from near the convention center that announced the walk was about to start, but no other directions were really given. People started walking but didn't know where to, and there were people coming from both directions of the boardwalk as well as non zombies who were just on the boardwalk not even part of the event. Eventually a decent crowd built up walking in a certain direction so we followed along out onto the streets of Asbury park, ending near a stage with a band and in front of the Prohibition bar.

I had read that they counted people for the record last year using a turn style, so assumed there would be one at the end of the walk, but there were none that we saw. We still don't know if they either didn't have an official count due to moving everything because of the weather, never planned on having a turn style, or it was there the whole time and we just missed it. 

My suggestion for next year would be to have this set up more like a charity run with an actual starting line and finish line (where the turn styles would be) to avoid confusion and have a clear direction of the walk. I would also use some caution tape to block off a section of the boardwalk for zombies only (if allowed) to keep people not part of the event from walking in the other direction which created chaos.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable event and being free (with the exception of your donation to charity and if you paid to get your make up done professionally)- it really can't be beat. Plus, it was an everyone friendly event, with people of all ages, children, and even pet zombies all there to take part.

I plan on giving the NJ zombie walk another shot next year, in hopes that 2015 is another record breaker!

UPDATE: The New Jersey Zombie walk is no longer the world record holder! Minnesota has taken it back with 15,458 zombies at their put crawl last weekend. Now we definitely have to give this another try next year!


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