If we've learned anything from the ridiculously popular Zombie Pub Crawl, it's this: The living dead do whatever they want.
"We try every year to see what we can get away with," said co-organizer and zombie wrangler Chuck Terhark. "That's our business model."
They spit up fake blood, they suck bars dry (of booze), and last year an estimated 30,000 zombies invaded Minneapolis and St. Paul. On Saturday, the eighth annual ZPC is back again in both cities but with ambitious changes.
For one, the crawl in St. Paul has moved from Lowertown to Midway Stadium, home of the St. Paul Saints. Terhark said Lowertown was a success, but his crew couldn't pass up the chance to partner with the fun-loving minor-league baseball team. They'll transform Midway into what is being called "Zombie Island," since participants won't really be pub crawling -- more like lurching in place. In Minneapolis, the crawl will follow its usual route through the West Bank.
This year's music lineup is headlined by two hilarious, head-scratching choices. At Midway, they'll have DMX, the tortured hardcore rapper who waffles between prison stints and the pulpit (he's a deacon now). At the Cabooze, there's the Gin Blossoms, the definition of '90s elevator music.
Making sure this zombie apocalypse runs smoothly, the ZPC has booked a fleet of 28 full-sized buses to shuttle the undead between the two cities. Terhark said he's encouraging a "choose-your-own adventure situation."
Besides DMX, Midway will feature fireworks and a carnival with a Ferris wheel, Gravitron, Giant Slide and more. Organizers will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for zombie gatherings at 8 p.m. Oh, how about a 50-foot inflatable zombie, complete with spilled guts and a puffy beer can the size of your bedroom?
Speaking of cans, the ZPC teamed up with Grain Belt for its own beer. The company produced more than 50,000 cans of "Brain Belt," adorned with a redesigned logo by poster artist DWITT. The cans have been a hot commodity in liquor stores.
Last year's hording masses enjoyed warm, beautiful weather. Terhark doesn't expect this month's colder temps to affect these zombies. "They'll come out anyways," he said. "They're dead -- what do they care?"
Chilly or not, the zombie bosses have asked the fire department to set fire to a six-story building (it's a training facility) that sits right next to Midway Stadium.
So there's that.
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