The Red, White, and Dead zombie walk has become the unofficial kickoff to the Fourth of July weekend in Seattle: Thousands of hunched, moaning figures shuffling through Fremont on July 2, demanding brains and Guinness World Records. They’re patriotic, in a way, dripping with red and white body paint—and the walking dead manage to find enough energy to break into spontaneous “Thriller” dances. They bring the zombie kids, the zombie dogs. Zombie beer lovers flock to the Seattle International Beerfest afterwards for a brain chaser (perhaps a nice pilsner?). It’s a bloody good time.
Event organizer Ryan Reiter (the man behind Fremont Outdoor Movies) says they hope to draw 6,000 undead this year to Fremont; if they can register more than 4,094 zombies, Seattle will reclaim the world record for “largest zombie walk on the planet” from Asbury Park, NJ. (We nabbed the record from the UK last summer—only to have it snatched away three months later by the Dirty Jerz.) It doesn’t take much to become a zombie—arrive early and event organizers will help you do your makeup—but it takes four months and $25,000 to produce the event, said Reiter. “We had no idea people would gravitate to it the way they have,” he said. “Families come, groups, dogs, Boeing executives. There’s a zombie Elvis, zombie Jesus, Northwest bikers, prom queens. I come as zombie Uncle Sam.”
This year Reiter has teamed up with two Neumos owners to bring live music to the event; they’ve also added two beer gardens and eight food trucks, turning the zombie walk into a zombie street party at 3501 Phinney Ave North. Tickets are $4 advance/$5 at the door, but it doesn’t cost anything to walk. Proceeds support the Fremont Arts Council.
Here’s the tentative schedule:
2pm – Doors open (including beer gardens and mobile food challenge).
3 – Concert: Death Star Hip-Hop (rap about Star Wars and comic books).
4 – Concert: Rushden and Diamonds (comedy/hip hop).
5 – Concert: Spawn Atomic.
5:30 – Massive “Thriller” dance led by the Seattle Thrillers.
6 – Zombie walk begins, making an attempt at Guinness World Record.
7 – Fashionably Undead costume contest, judged by the Rat City Roller Girls. Top male and female costumes win $250 prizes.
7:15 – Concert: the Staxx Brothers (funk/blues).
9 – Concert: Kultur Shock (gypsy punk).
11 – Event closes.
The Red, White, and Dead zombie walk is July 2 in Fremont.