First annual Zombie Walk shuffles through San Diego
Around one hundred people dressed as the 'undead' gathered in a graveyard in San Diego’s Old Town for the first annual Zombie Walk. The event was a family-oriented celebration of Halloween. USA. 29th October 2011
The first annual Old Town Zombie walk shuffled along the streets of San Diego’s oldest neighborhood, drawing an estimated one hundred 'undead' for the family-oriented event. The walk began at Old Town’s El Campo Santo Cemetery and made its way down San Diego Avenue to the heart of Old Town State Park. Along the way several restaurants provided “Zombie Treats” for participants. The walk concluded at Fred’s Mexican Café where zombies were invited to stay for drink and food specials.
The Zombie Walk started with a group of friends talking about what to do for Halloween. One of the group, Mike Graehl, mentioned that he wanted to dress up as a zombie, and the conversation turned to the topic of zombie walks. Kim Ulrich suggested they do a walk of their own, and the idea grew from there. The event was posted on Facebook and began to take on a “life” of its own. Over the four weeks leading up to the walk, several local news stations did stories on the upcoming undead stroll. Dawne Morris, another member of the group and lead organizer for the evening, explained that they had realized that most of the zombie walks were targeted to the over-21 crowd. They decided that their walk would be focused on families, and there were a number of zombie families participating.
Of the five organizers, only Morris had done a zombie walk before in her native Philadelphia and at San Diego’s Comic-Con. Along with Graehl, Morris and Ulrich, the organizing team included Kim Ulrich’s husband Julius and Mike “Blind Mike” Shrader. The group had hoped for at least 20 participants, and had prepared for up to 75. The actual number was almost overwhelming to them. Kim Ulrich admitted that she had difficulty not smiling as she shuffled along with the rest of the crowd. After all, zombies don’t smile.