MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In recent years, it wouldn’t stay dead and it also started to stink. This year, the venerable Zombie Pub Crawl — perhaps the Twin Cities’ greatest single contribution to pop culture at large since Prince did backflips in a G-string — is embracing its big, bad self.

READ MORE: Allina WestHealth's ER, Urgent Care Set To Close Temporarily As Nurses Go On Strike Over Fair Pay

That’s right, this year, “Viva La Zombie Pub Crawl” is the rallying cry of the masses whose flesh drips as they lumber down Washington Avenue looking for a beer buzz.

For the first time, the ZPC expanded to St. Paul after spending its first half-dozen years hewing close to Minneapolis. This year, the bloody carnage will once again infect our state capital, as Midway Stadium gets all Land of the Dead, getting a rechristening as “Zombie Island.” (As with last year, this portion of the ZPC has been cleared for 18+ baby zombies.)

The Island will be the site of an attempt to set a Guinness world record, who will be on hand to verify what should easily topple the recently-minted record for most zombies in a single gathering. Over 4,500 were included in a head count in Seattle last year, but organizers have fingers crossed (well, first severed, and then crossed) the Twin Cities can beat that.

(credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

To make sure that the record gets shattered, the ZPC organizers have planned a solid itinerary of musical acts leading up to the 9 p.m. headliner DMX. Meanwhile, over on the West Bank, the Gin Blossoms, Exodus, booty-popping phenom Big Freedia and ex-local remix up and comer Gigamesh are just the tip of the iceberg of musical offerings stretching between Washington Avenue and the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.

Clearly, what began eight years ago with a mere handful of zombies has blossomed into a full-blown pandemic of blood, gore and brew.

I chatted with Claudia Holt, one of the pub crawl’s organizers, from the safety of our Hazmat bunker last time around. She offered me the following tips for surviving the Zombie Pub Crawl long enough to catch another screening of Dawn of the Dead this Halloween.

READ MORE: 2 Crashes On I-35W Leave 1 Dead

Though no one survived last year’s zombie apocalypse, these rules should still stand this year, right? Right?

Tip 1: “Eat something!” And preferably not brains. Zombies need sustenance if they’re going to stumble around like Night of the Living Dead for, um, the entire night of the living dead. Holt says the crawl will have food trucks offering .

Tip 2: “The deader, the better!” While this is not a fashion show, it sort of is. You won’t win any awards for having the sickest costume, but you may get a few pulpy high fives. You can pick up your wristbands at Ragstock outlets, and Holt suggests it might be a good idea to garnish your costume with some of their vintage options.

Tip 3: “So long as they still have legs, zombies like walking!” In other words, they hate waiting in line. So Holt says pick up your tickets/wristbands in advance, bring cash and take advantage of the beer specials.


Tip 4: “Have an attack plan!” Says Holt, “How are you going to see all of your favorite bands if you’re not well informed? Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and check vita.mn for lineups.”

Tip 5: “Even zombies can have manners!” A blurb in the ZPC’s FAQs mentions the unfortunate mess left in one Chipotle bathroom, and I remember seeing more than just a little blood spattered about along Washington Avenue in years past. Holt reminded, “Just because you’re dressed like a zombie doesn’t mean you get to act like a jerk. Don’t break stuff or ruin stuff that doesn’t belong to you.”

MORE NEWS: 2 Pedestrians Shot And Injured In South Minneapolis

See you on the other side, mortals.

Eric Henderson