June is off to a hot start in Chicago. Approximately 500 zombies (there was no official count) found their way to Millenium Park, and proceeded to generally wreak havoc all over downtown Chicago and Grant Park. Stacked in the ranks of shambling horrors were doctors and nurses, goths, punks, skateboarders, demons and a few Millenium Park police. However, there’s no need to worry that the zombies will be attacking your town any time soon, this was the Chicago Zombie March 2008 by Zombie Army Productions.
The Zombie March was the largest in Chicago yet, surpassing the pub crawl back in April. Participants gathered on the lawn at Millenium Park about 2pm. After liberally applying fake blood and makeup, the zombies put on quite a show of groaning, screaming and generally confusing passersby. Security was quite accepting of the hordes, considering they had little or no advanced notice at all. Haunted house rules were in effect – you can’t touch any of the civilians and don’t harm or break anything. For such a large, unruly mob, it was quite well behaved, with zeds generally attacking and eating each other.
I, on the other hand, was not one of the infected. This was the perfect opportunity to do some research and assemble my proper defense gear and practice weapons. A little disturbing was the fact that of the hundreds of zombies, I only found half a dozen zombie hunters like myself. Many were lacking the proper gear. There were several things I found while participating in the walk.
- People don’t really notice someone in SWAT gear carrying a ninja sword walking down the street – but kids did.
- Bring a lot of water – I ran out towards the end.
- Zombies attract a lot of attention, but leave many people confused. Civilians kept wondering what we were protesting and what this was for.
- Even banging on the glass for twenty minutes, news of an undead outbreak got precious few seconds on the evening television newscast.
The mob slowly walked through the park towards Buckingham fountain, still attracting onlookers and getting several puzzled glances from people stuck in traffic (not the place to be in an outbreak). They continued through the plaza to the Grant Park baseball fields breaking into smaller groups and eventually dispersing. The remainder walked back to Millenium Park towards the bean, where about a hundred latecomers were aimlessly wandering. The crowd once again grew in size, and marched through the park, towards the TV studio on State street. There, the group of several hundred zombies pounded on the glass and groaned for about twenty minutes until finally the news realized this was no joke, and they got their attention.
I hope you survived… I threw myself into the blood and gore covered masses, but managed to emerge without a bite mark. The looks on the CTA return trip were quite amusing; those fools had no idea what was happening on the outside.