Asbury Park, New Jersey is known for its vibrant music scene, boardwalk, and beach, but it’s also home to one of the largest zombie walks in the USA. The Asbury Park Zombie Walk is an annual event that takes place on the first Saturday in October and attracts thousands of people dressed up as zombies. Zombie walks are a great way to kick off the spooky Halloween season. If you’ve never attended a zombie walk before and are not familiar with this type of event, a zombie walk is when an organized group of people gather together dressed up as zombies and “lurch” through city streets.
The History of the Asbury Park Zombie Walk
The Asbury Park Zombie Walk was first held in 2008. Jason Meehan planned the first ever zombie walk after a friend told him of a similar event in Atlanta. The first walk brought together over 400 participants and has quickly grown in popularity over the years. The event has been so successful that it made it into the Guinness Book of World Records in 2010 and again in 2013 for the largest gathering of zombies.
What to Expect at the Asbury Park Zombie Walk
This event is free to attend and despite the blood and gore of zombies the event is also family friendly. The full schedule of the day is often posted on the Asbury Park Zombie Walk website. The walk typically takes place on the first Saturday in October and participants can start to arrive at the designated meeting spot at 11AM. The walk then also has a designated endpoint and typically concludes around 6PM.
Participants are encouraged to dress up as zombies, with many people putting a lot of effort into creating detailed and realistic costumes. In 2022, the zombie walk embraced the history of Asbury Park and themed the event as punk rock. Makeup artists are also available on site on a first come first serve basis for anyone wanting to use the services to help out with their costume. The Asbury Park Zombie Walk however does not allow participants to bring any prop weapons for the event.
Costume Contest and Awards
Awards for Best Young Zombie, Best Adult, Best Couple and Best Group costumes are handed out at the end of the walk. Any participants wanting to enter the contest are required to arrive at a specific time. Prizes for the costume contest include cash and the coveted golden zombie trophy.
The official zombie walk typically kicks off at the Asbury Park Boardwalk around 4PM where participants will start heading through the streets of Asbury Park along the designated walk route. Everyone is encouraged to pull out their best acting skills and stay in character as a zombie, from grunts and moans to lurching, it’s the perfect time to act like you’re on set of The Walking Dead. Once the horde makes it to the final destination, zombie-themed events often take place after the walk at local bars and restaurants and offer a chance for participants to show off their costumes and enjoy some spooky fun.
The event has also become a way for the community to come together and support local businesses as this draws in a lot of visitors to the seaside town. Most years donations are also taken in order to support a specific charity, last year donations to Move for Hunger were collected.
Since its inception in 2008, the Asbury Park Zombie Walk has grown into a major event, attracting thousands of people from all over the world. In addition to the walk itself, there are now a variety of other events and activities taking place throughout the day, making it a full-fledged zombie-themed festival. Whether you’re a die-hard zombie fan or just looking for a unique and fun event to attend, the Asbury Park Zombie Walk is definitely worth checking out.