There's just something about zombies that stirs the imagination and gets the heart racing. Hollywood knows it, and turns out multiple zombie movies a year. Some, like 28 Days Later, are rife with social commentary. Others, like Dawn of the Dead, leave us contemplating just exactly how we'd handle a real zombie apocalypse. To break the tension, we even laugh about a zombie apocalypse with movies like Shaun of the Dead. But why the obsession? As zombie fanatic Nick Parker of Louisville, Kentucky puts it "(there are) at least ten ways disease or technology could actually create a zombie-like infection. So the real possibility is frightening enough."
I think Nick's right. These days, I can't watch a zombie apocalypse movie without seriously considering just exactly how I'd handle myself and save my loved ones from the horrors of a zombie attack. I mean, I could certainly shoot my spouse if he were bitten, but what about a child? The threat of a zombie apocalypse includes more horrors than just flesh-hungering undead; plus, we may only have eight days if zombies attack.
A few years ago, a few friends in Louisville got the idea to bring these horrors to life — and have a lot of fun doing it. Mike Welch, Lyndi Curtis, and John King decided that the best way to celebrate their chronologically-close together birthdays is to host an annual Zombie Attack. Now known as the Louisville Zombie Attack, the event brings thousands to the two blocks of Bardstown Road between Eastern Parkway and Bearno's Pizza.
Held annually at dusk (8:29) on August 29, this year celebrated the 5th annual Louisville Zombie Attack. The event is free for participants and spectators alike. This year's zombie mob was estimated at about 1,000 participants, and Louisville officials estimate the spectator crowd to have been nearly twice that number. I can attest that this event is a great evening out — even children dress like flesh eaters and get into zombie character. If getting gory isn't your thing, meet the mob and organizers behind Objects of Desire Gallery and sign up to be a victim. Or, grab a bite at Bearno's Pizza or any of the other great restaurants on Bardstown Road and just try to relax as you watch the mob attack. Bearno's also hosts the annual Louisville Zombie Attack party with events and prizes, though this year it was difficult to get near the door, much less inside because of the crowd. By nine o'clock, the street outside Bearno's becomes clogged with undead and spectators joining in the fun.
While other cities, such as San Francisco, have taken up the idea of an annual Zombie Attack, the original Louisville Zombie Attack remains a gem particular to the area. It's all part of what makes Louisville weird.
For more information on the Louisville Zombie Attack and to start planning your costumes for next year, check out the TechRepublic photo gallery, 5th annual Louisville Zombie Attack, and these other great sites:
Nicole Bremer Nash is Director of Content and Social Media for HuTerra, where she uses SEO and social media to promote charitable organizations in their community-building and fundraising efforts. She enjoys volunteering, arts and crafts, and conducting science experiments at home. Nicole has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Transylvania University, and has experience in copywriting for education, print, business, and the web. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter via @HuTerra.