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The Dead Walk on 16th Street

Blood ran through the streets of downtown Denver on October 23rd as the Mile High zombie culture laid down their own undead apocalypse. The 5th Annual Denver Zombie Crawl attested that harmless monkeyshine can be had without dropping a dime but instead, just drop dead.

The hoard of would be zombie enthusiasts began to brew on the corner of 16th St. and Arapahoe St. to await the opportunity to be released onto 16th Street Mall and its naïve Starbucks regulars. As the day old dead and freshly reanimated corpses filled their bellies with complimentary Twinkies, the crowd’s eagerness to go on the rampage became palpable.

Tunes pumping from the Ghostbusters Ecto-1 pacified the ghouls long enough for last minute grave napping, brain eating and final touches to their wounds and spilling entrails before the announcement came to begin the crawl. With a moan and a groan the Zombie Crawl was off…to a crawl.

The undead crowd amassed a sundry population. Everyone and their contaminated brother seemed to be in attendance as each person looked the part in their best zombie garb. From dorks to hobos, the Zombie Crawl infected all with the spirit that was fitting for ushering in the Halloween season.

Whether it was the dawning of pulsating prosthetics, baby doll protuberances, or simply just a lot of blood, the zombie crowd’s best instrument for terror was their imagination. Crooked walks, blood shrills and deep throated moans adorned the grotesque mob-scene that slowly convulsed past flabbergasted bargain hunters and bemused street panhandlers. As impromptu cannibalistic mauling became a common occurrence upon the scene with screams and snarls echoing through the alleyways; the city gave the mind’s eye a glimpse into what a zombie doomsday might just look like.

Aside from the imminent freak-outs, the goal of the gathering was to break the Guinness Book world record for a zombie gathering. The previous record stood at 4,026 zombies, who assembled at The Big Chill Festival on August 6th 2009 in Ledbury, UK. Denver’s zombie shindig amassed over 7,300 brain eaters, making Denver the new world record holder for the largest zombie gathering, according to the Zombie Crawl’s creator, Daniel Newman. “We blew the record away,” said Newman.

Five years ago, the Zombie Crawl began as a unique birthday party idea for Newman with a handful of undead friends. The Crawl has now grown into such a huge event that not even Newman could have predicted. “Pretty crazy growth over the past few years,” stated Newman. The Crawl now has sponsorship through work with local haunted houses and with 16th Street businesses through the use of coupons and promotions.

In the course of creating such an enticing event for Denver’s zombie lore lovers, the Crawl was able to give back (not of the biting kind) to the community that welcomed such monsters onto their streets. “We collected over 2 tons of canned food for the Food Bank of the Rockies which I’m very stoked about,” stated Newman. “I will, of course, be doing the Crawl again next year.”

Despite some onlookers bafflement as to, “What the hell is going on?” The 5th Annual Denver Zombie Crawl accomplished what they set out to do. They rose from the dead, broke records, ate brains, collected food for the needy, and well…had a bloody good time.

 

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