The zombie apocalypse is immanent, but luckily the chaos is scheduled.
“Some were quite shocked. Our demographic in this area might not be up on the Walking Dead and the pop culture references,” said organizer Dan LaRocque of the event last year.
It started as a private party last year but the idea grew to include 30 or more people hitting the streets of Parksville in zombie costume and character.
“A lot of people were quite surprised, some were even shocked,” he said of initial responses to the shuffling dead, but everyone quickly caught on and enjoyed the unique experience.
“We caught the end of it last year just by accident and it was really quite a sight,” said Parksville Communications Officer Debbie Tardiff, who jumped to support it when people like mayor Chris Burger brought it up.
“We’re inspired by the original of course,” LaRocque said of George Romero’s 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead, adding there many lighthearted and comedic recent inspirations from Sean of the Dead and Zombieland to the more serious 28 Days and the Walking Dead TV show.
Zombie walks started around a decade ago in the U.S. and slowly spread to hundreds of cities around the world, adding zombie pub crawls and flash mob dances to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. The largest drew thousands of costumed participants in Australia, the U.K. and South America, with the record topping 30,000 in Minneapolis.
One of the earliest in Canada, the first Vancouver zombie event saw more than 400 people in costume ride the SkyTrain or “BrainTrain.”
Operating under a pseudonym, organizers of the local event are the same people behind some charitable endeavours such as the Wax Your Back for Charity for the SOS, but they said this event is strictly for fun.
“We’re just trying to inject a little absurdity and beauty into our beach community,” LaRocque said.
They had intended the second annual walk to take the city by surprise again, but as it grew and gained attention and the city got on board they are inviting everyone to take part or just stop and watch.
People will gather in costume outside Natural Synergy Day Spa at the Beach Club on Saturday, June 8 for a 6:30 p.m. launch.
The Facebook sight explains: “We’ll then frighten motorists along the Island Highway, lurch down to the Beach Club Boardwalk, back up to the Island Highway, cross at the lights, head up the Alberni Highway to the Rod and Gun for a round of Bloody Marys and back to the Island Highway for more zombie fun.”
For more information look for it on Facebook. For photos check http://dayman-langenphotography.com.