Zombies devour brains, booze in Twin Cities
What drink pairs best with an entrée of fake bloody brains? "Brain Belt Cranium" beer. Duh.
The beer was a limited edition replacement for "Grain Belt Premium," created by August Schell Brewing Company, specifically for a night when the living dead come out to feast on flesh and, more importantly, to drink.
It's the eighth annual Twin Cities Zombie Pub Crawl. What started as a gathering of 80-100 zombie-philes in 2005 has grown to an event that brings in about 30,000 people.
Billed as the 'largest Zombie gathering on earth," the crawl this year took over two locations and participants could hop back and forth via a shuttle.
The St. Paul location turned minor league baseball's Midway Stadium into a "Zombie Island" complete with burning building next door. (Don't worry - the building is a fire department training facility and the St. Paul Fire Department was involved.) The stadium boasted a concert lineup with local and national acts, a 50-foot inflatable zombie (with a can of "Cranium" in his hand, of course) and fireworks displays every hour, leaving a smokey haze over the field.
On the Minneapolis side of things, the flesh-eating pedestrians got their fake blood all over the sidewalks of the city's West Bank neighborhood, where 13 bars and restaurants opened their doors.
The event has gotten so big that for the last few years they've had to bring in a police presence to put up barricades and then a street cleaning crew for, of course, all the leftover guts.
Co-organizer Taylor Carik says he has a hard time describing the event to people who've never heard of it because they usually "don't believe how crazy it gets."
"We had one guy describe it as Mardi Gras but with fake blood, and we feel that is pretty accurate," Carik said.
Costumes ranged from the zombie cast of Scooby-Doo to zombie Pocahontas. There was even a man dressed as Jesus Christ - "the original zombie," he told people on the street.
Nick Jackson came in from Fargo, North Dakota, dressed as a zombie door to door salesman with a well thought out back story.
"I was selling vacuums door to door when I came across the wrong house, and this is what happened."
It's his second time at the crawl.
"I mean I don't work in the movies, I don't get to do this on a regular basis, so when I can make myself look ridiculous, I do it. Why wouldn't I?"
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