Happy fifth birthday, brain-chomping chums! We’ve grown and matured a lot these past five years, but we’re still as feisty as ever. Read on for this year’s official guide to all things MZM. If you have questions at the end of this post, leave a comment or shoot us an e-mail at email@example.com and we’ll do our best to clear things up.
It’s the Memphis Zombie Massacre, an annual spectacle of the undead variety in Downtown Memphis, Tenn. This year we’re upping the community ante and taking donations for the Mid-South Food Bank, a great organization that helps feed hungry people in the region. We’re taking up non-perishable food items (no glass containers, please). Please click here for full details about the food drive.
WHEN AND WHERE
Friday, May 27. We step off from the corner of South Main and G.E. Patterson (at Ernestine & Hazel’s) at 6:30 p.m., so it’s best to get arrive early to have plenty of time to park or bike or walk or whatever. Remember, it’s also art trolley night, so parking in South Main will be at a premium.
Here’s the route map:
The staging area is in the same place as last year — in the grassy lot near Front and G.E. Patterson (near where the Memphis Farmers Market is every weekend). That’s where we’ll have makeup help available, and that’s where to bring your items to donate. Organizers will be in the area to take your donations starting at 4 p.m. As in years past, we will be available to help zombify participants on a first-come, first-served basis, but we never have the time to zombify everyone who wants help. So come early, or better yet come zombified or bring your own supplies and zombify yourself and your friends in the staging area.
Some notes about the route. THIS IS NEW! Last year we took the same route as the one we’ll be taking this year — South Main to Beale — but it became quickly apparent that the zombie horde was segmented several times due to traffic lights and distance and such. That meant that our invasion of Beale Street came in spurts and was sort of anti-climactic. This year, we want to hit Beale with a huge, teeming throng of undead. And we think we know how to do that.
The idea is to pause and re-stage and re-gather at the corner of South Main and Beale in the grassy/park area highlighted in the map. Zombies, you’ll be looking for this fellow to lead the way:
You will also be on the lookout for organizers wearing brightly colored shirts.
We’ll announce the color on the day of the walk. We’ll be wearing these bright yellow shirts.
If we can pause at Beale and South Main for just a few minutes, it will allow the tail end of the horde to catch up to the front, and our invasion of Beale will look and feel as huge as it actually will be, since we’ll all be invading together rather than in small, segmented groups. Watch for cues from organizers and our friend on the Segway.
The walk ends officially at Fourth Street, so once you see the empty shell of the Plush Club across the street, you’ve reached the end of your mission and can mingle and go about your undead business.
We have plenty of zombie families that like to join us. All we ask is that you don’t subject your kid to something he or she isn’t going to be able to handle or that you’re not going to take the time to explain.
As we mentioned above, we will be available to help zombify in the staging area marked on the map. We always have a TON of people line up for makeup jobs, and unfortunately our window of time (more than two hours) never allows for us to get to everyone who wants help. So please, if you can, come already made up. Or bring your own gear and help make yourself and others up on site. The best part of a zombie walk is seeing how crazy creative you can be with your own makeup and effects, so show us what you’ve got! Thank you in advance.
If you don’t want to come already zombified, you have the option of being devoured by the teeming masses. Here’s how you would achieve that:
Easy, right? Just come clearly marked with a duct-tape X (be sure to wear clothes you don’t mind messing up), and hang out along the route. The later in the route you pop up, the less likely you are to be zombified. This is simply because our (understandably) overzealous zombies tend to run out of their extra blood-n-gore rations early in the walk. So consider hanging out on the first leg of the walk to be zombified. Although, honestly, seeing some people get eaten on Beale Street would be pretty fine, too. So do whatever you want, just know your odds.
WHICH RAISES AN IMPORTANT POINT! We need lots of zombies to come armed with a bottle or two of fake blood they can hang on to and ration during the walk, so that our duct-taped friends can be sure to get in on the action. There are lots of ways to make your own blood, or you can buy it at any local costume/party retailer.
RULES AND GUIDELINES
We will be operating on a public assembly/parade permit issued by the City of Memphis, with the blessing of the South Main Association, the police, and Performa (the company that manages Beale Street). This basically means that we need to behave ourselves so that we can continue to come back every year without the kind of civic drama that has happened in some other cities.
So that means:
• No harassing or touching or spraying gore at bystanders who are not clearly marked to be part of the walk.
• No scaring children who clearly aren’t into it.
• No messing with property that isn’t yours. This means cars, store fronts, news stands, etc. Don’t damage stuff that’s not yours. And please don’t litter. Sure, we’re going to leave a trail of blood and gore but let’s not add trash to the mix.
• No blocking traffic. This is in some ways inevitable, but in the past we have been able to manage ourselves and abide, more or less, by the whims of the crosswalk lights, and everything has turned out swimmingly.
• No boozin’ it up during the walk. We know people do it anyway, but please be judicious and don’t get too crazed.
• No entering galleries or shops while all gored up. This is mostly a practical request; we don’t want a spate of businesses bitching about the kids who tracked blood in on their nice floors.
• Don’t break the law. You’re undead, but they will still throw your ass in jail.
There are tons of zombie makeup tutorials on YouTube. Take a look.
There’s still time to grab supplies in local stores. Try these places and leave a comment if you know of others:
• The Fun Shop
• Party City
• Mr. Lincoln’s
• Blow-N-Go (The Halloween Store/Trick-R-Treat)
FIND US ONLINE, PROMOTE US ONLINE
We are all over the internet. Find us:
• Facebook (the Facebook event page is here, so RSVP so we can know how many of you to expect!)
• Flickr (2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)
• E-mail us at memphiszombies at gmail dot com if you have any questions
If nothing else, put your smartphone to work and follow us on Twitter for necessary updates the day of the walk.
We’ve got a variety of flyers you can download and print out and distribute at your favorite places around town.
Questions? Thoughts? Hit us up in the comments.
And as always, thanks to all of you for making this event every ounce of awesome that it is.