Promenade, Long Beach
October 29, 2011
The Zombie Walk Street Fest–which started at 2 p.m. and ended around 11 p.m.–stretched the length of Promenade in downtown Long Beach, between Ocean and 3rd Street, and featured all kinds of Halloween-themed entertainment, with live music, art shows, vendors, and zombie makeup stations, all culminating in an attempt to break two world records.
The “Tinderbox” stage at Zombie Central featured sets by locals Potential Lunatics, Bell Stray, Creepersin, Bella Novela, Natural Sci-Fi, Wild Pack of Canaries, and Slushbox, with members of the bands dressed in costume. Massive canvasses flanked the stage, with artists painting all kinds of nightmare-inspiring freaks. The Zombie Art Show on Pine and 6th had new original works by over a dozen artists, inspired by the Long Beach Zombie Walk Long Beach, and curated by Jason Liwag and Garry Booth of Phone Booth Gallery. A few zombies walked the Promenade carrying their own artwork.
After seeing a couple bands and checking out the live painting, we walked over to Zombie Central to see Thrill the World L.A. attempt to break a world record for the largest choreographed “Thriller” flash mob. The Zombie Central parking lot was a total mob scene, packed with bloody disgusting zombies and a handful of dead Michael Jacksons. Volunteers with light up white gloves faced the crowd and attempted to coordinate the dance, but it was a pretty big mess. Participants were asked to register at the Thrill the World booth on the Promenade to get an accurate headcount, but since the booth was completely overwhelmed all night, most people probably didn't bother to sign in. Anyone hear if the 11,000 record was broken?
The Zombie Walk got started around eight at the end of the Promenade. A groaning army of zombies crossed Ocean in attempt to break Seattle's record of 4,800 undead streetwalkers. Besides the usual slutty dead whatevers, we saw a lot of awesome zombie Amy Winehouses and tons of dead soldiers–a couple UN Peacekeepers, too–as well as a bunch of bloodied doctors. Some favorites were the Shuffle Bot from the LMFAO video, Thing 1 and Thing 2 from the Dr. Suess book, and the evil Teletubbie. This year's most outdated costume goes to the kid who dressed up as Napoleon Dynamite.
After the zombie walk, we headed over to the Press Telegram building to see Johnny Vatos Boingo Dancy Party–a band featuring some former Oingo Boingos–serenade the grateful dead. The parking lot was decorated with neon painted ghouls and terrifying installations. Sirena Serpentina's fire dancers performed with flaming fans from the pit in front of the stage before the show. Logan Crow, Executive Director and Event Programmer of Long Beach Cinematheque, and actress Rena Riffel from Showgirls and Mulholland Drive judged the “sexiest zombie contest.” (But the winners they picked weren't particularly sexy–just easy to spot from the stage because they were standing in the front row.) The crowd was pretty small–probably dissuaded by the $20 tickets–but everyone seemed excited to hear their Boingo favorites live, starting with the night's opener “Who Do You Want To Be.”
Some of our favorite costumes below:[