Zombie bar crawl logoby Anastasia Penchi

It’s the bar crawl where participants could literally crawl on the ground and still fit in.

Zombies will be invading downtown La Crosse on Oct. 22, but it won’t be due to any virus, voodoo hex or special taping of the next season of “The Walking Dead.”

It’s a distinct event put on by a group of business partners that features drink specials in downtown taverns, two stages of music in Riverside Park and a good time to be had by all – alive or undead.

There is no need for the katana, Michonne, as this is no zombie apocalypse – it is simply an excuse to get outside and have some adult fun with your friends before winter hits. If you want to join in the revelry, please keep the following in mind:


1) Be a zombie; have a Zombie.

The Zombie I’m most familiar with involves high-proof rum and fruit juice and is served in a fancy glass during vacations on exotic beaches. While I don’t know if participating taverns will be offering this specific cocktail, there will be plenty of drink specials for people to access thanks to a special wristband being provided to those who take part. Participants who are ages 18 to 20 — old enough to be adults but not old enough to drink alcohol — will have their own non-alcoholic and food specials to access at other downtown businesses.

2) Professional make-up is not required.

You do not need to shop at the Dollar Store to buy fake blood or spend hours on YouTube researching zombie make-up to fit in with this crowd. There will be special make-up stations downtown to help participants become “zombified.” Just put on your favorite ripped jeans and pull a dirty t-shirt out of the laundry basket and you are good to go. Maybe bring along a dirty sweatshirt, too, just in case it gets chilly. Cold, shivering zombies are not cool. Well, maybe they are cool, but they are not hip.

3) Apparently zombies like EDM.

When I think of zombies and music — I think about Rob Zombie, but maybe that’s because I’m partial to heavy metal music. Yes, local rockers Monkey Wrench will be there, but apparently some of today’s zombies prefer EDM, a.k.a electronic dance music. Megan Hamilton, a Minneapolis musician who describes her genre as “funk butter,” will perform, as well as another Minneapolis group, Shoeless Revolution, who describe their music as “funkin’ pop and jazzy rock.” Zach Bommer is also going to be in attendance one weekend after performing to his hometown crowd in St. Louis, Mo. Come get your zombie dance on, whatever that is.

4) Zombies also like swag bags.

I’m not exactly sure what would be in a zombie swag bag. Maybe some brains to munch on? A piece of large intestine? A chunk of an arm or a leg? Find out when you download the special app for your phone and scan the unique codes at participating businesses. Once you have checked off a specific number of locations, you can head down to Riverside Park, show your phone to the booth worker and receive your zombie swag bag. Hopefully they are collecting items that will appeal to the non-zombie in you.

5) Don’t be a smombie.

Participants need a smartphone for this event to download the app, but please don’t be a smombie. I didn’t even know this term existed until doing zombie-related research on Wikipedia. Smombies are pedestrians who are so engrossed in their smartphones as they walk that they are not paying attention to the world around them. These smombies trip over curbs, step out in traffic and bump into others because they are so distracted by the constant communication and information provided via these phones. International cities are starting to imbed ground-level traffic lights and other warnings on the pavement to try and prevent smombie injuries. Downtown La Crosse does not have these yet, so please just pay attention to your surroundings.

To connect with the undead or buy tickets to the Zombie Bar Crawl, visit the Web site at www.zbclax.com or visit the Facebook page at Zombie Bar Crawl La Crosse.

Anastasia Penchi

Anastasia Penchi

Freelance writer

Anastasia Penchi is graduate of UW-La Crosse and a long-time Coulee Region writer who has written for area newspapers and magazines (www.loislaneforhire.com).