On October 13th I went to my 3rd Zombiefest, here in Pittsburgh. The weather was perfect. It was a sunny day, which is very rare in these parts. The event started at noon, but it’s been my experience not to rush to be there at the start because it is a marathon, and not a sprint. Still, arriving 2 hours into the event, we had very little trouble finding parking. I bloodied up, having already done my make up at home, and we hit the fest.
Zombiefest is a day long event where there are bands, contests, and vendors. It’s part of World Zombie Day. The goal is to take back the world record for the zombie walk, which is an ongoing battle. At the registration, they were collecting canned goods for the The Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank, from those considerate zombies who realized they don’t need people food anymore. The day is finished off with a zombie walk. For those unfamiliar, we all dress up like the undead and the walk is were you lurch around a certain route, like a parade. It is organized by the It’s Alive Show folks. More info about them can be found on their website: www.theitsaliveshow.com.
The previous 2 years they held the event in Downtown Pittsburgh. This was a pretty popular location because of its easy accessibility to public transportation. The city was not interested in hosting the event this year, so it was in the West End. Aside from the transportation issues, it seemed to be a good move, in my opinion. The sanctioned area was about 2 blocks in one direction, and 2 blocks at the intersection, so I don’t think there was necessarily more square footage. It just seemed to be better utilized. There was a stage and bleachers to watch the bands and festivities. The vendors were decent, although I’d still like to see more. There were multiple places offering to do make up, which I was happy to see. The bars were open, and there multiple food vendors. The ones I was the most happy to see were Dozen, Pittsburgh Bites, and Silvi’s.
The consensus from the people I talked to seemed to be the actual “walk” could have been a bit longer. It took a while to organize the herd, and then the walk itself was only really around one large block.
The bands were diverse and entertaining. From psychobilly-esque bands like The Graveyard Rockers, to metal like The Motorpsychos, to the musket shooting metal pirate band The Bloody Seamen, who finished their set with a flaming broken guitar. There was a “surprise musical guest” after the walk. A voodoo priest brought out a coffin and Jim Morrison took the stage to preform as with the band The Next Doors.
The events were pretty good at getting some crowd participation going. There were the Zombie Olympics, my personal favorite the Brain Eating Competition (complete with gummy worms inside the jello brains), and the Ugly Pageant.
The event was livestreamed by Don Carpenter, and it was broadcast world wide. You can check out the youtube footage on his blog here:
You’ll catch glimpses of yours truly in the footage from time to time. And here are my photos, which I posted as the day went along.
There were a thousand more I would have liked to have gotten, but my battery was quickly losing charge.
It was a very pet friendly, child friendly event, adult friendly event. I even sneaked away during the last act to finally purchase that Monroeville Zombies hoodie I had been lusting for for the last 3 years. So I would definitely call the day a success, even if it turns out we did not take the record. (Which at the time of posting, I don’t know for sure.)