A Tale Of Terror: The Boise Zombie Walk
A brainwavez.org Cultural Expedition to Boise, Idaho, USA

United States of Americaby Jase Luttrell
Posted: 12 November 2008

Halloween comes but once a year but zombies are forever (unless you hack them to bits, which is recommended). Celebrate the quest for braaaaainnnnsssss with brainwavez.org's recent shuffle through Boise, Idaho, the potato capital of the world (not including Ireland...and possibly some other places).

Often, while travelling, one stumbles upon an experience unparalleled by any other. Usually, this experience is location specific. Recently, while on a camping trip near Boise (the capital of the state of Idaho in the United States of America), I was skimming through the Boise Weekly and found a very small advertisement in the classified section for Boise's 3rd annual Zombie Walk. The ad indicated the meeting place, meeting time, and beginning time, and that the event was open to the public. My curiosity (and love of zombies) was piqued.

3rd annual Zombie Walk in Boise, Idaho, USA, by Jase Luttrell on Flickr

My travelling companion and I arrived at the Boise Co-op at 19:15, 15 minutes after the meeting time. There were approximately 70 people present, all dressed in some sort of zombie attire, including appropriate makeup, rumpled hair, fake blood, and ratty clothing. The organisers of the event were playing some spooky Halloween music, as well as some rock music. Some volunteers were handing out maps indicating the route of the zombie walk. At 19:30 a woman announced that they would wait a few more minutes to allow others to arrive, and then the zombies would depart on their scheduled route.

3rd annual Zombie Walk in Boise, Idaho, USA, by Jase Luttrell on Flickr By 19:45, news crews had arrived and were taking photos and filming this rare oddity. The participation had ballooned to nearly 150 zombies, mainly 20-year-olds, but some zombies were merely babies (in costume, of course). A final announcement was made regarding some rules for safety, and then the walk began.

Most of the people involved in the zombie walk took their participation very seriously; shuffling their feet, grunting and groaning, arms outstretched, groping for (and moaning for) brains. Often, the zombies would run into natural and man-made obstacles; trees, buildings, bike racks, and so on. Many of the zombies did their best to stay in character, though some would move out of the way (without shuffling!), and smile or laugh whenever they saw someone breaking character, thus breaking character themselves. One particular zombie was so involved in his performance he stumbled up the steps to the great wooden doors of a church, moaning loudly and banging his fists against the door.

The route for the walk was quite long, and took the zombies through the main downtown area of the city, through malls and restaurant areas. As I was not dressed as a zombie I decided to run ahead to specific meeting points to take photos along the way. While walking through one area with many restaurants that have outdoor seating I overheard many patrons laughing about the apparently random infestation of zombies through the area. I was able to catch up with the slow-moving zombies after they crossed Grove Street (a street that runs through the centre of the town). Their final destination was Donnie Mac's Trailer Park Cuisine for an after party.

3rd annual Zombie Walk in Boise, Idaho, USA, by Jase Luttrell on Flickr

Stumbling upon a zombie walk in the rural-esque Boise was not something I expected from my weekend camping trip but I was surprised and entertained nonetheless. Because I was not dressed like a zombie, I felt awkward shuffling with the crowd and rather chose to take photos of the experience. Regardless of how awkward it felt for me, the zombie crowd was welcoming and hilarious in its portrayal. Should you ever find yourself in the Boise area towards the end of October or if you are a true Halloween lover, the Boise Zombie Walk is a great way to celebrate the occasion.

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Boise Zombie Walk: http://boisezombiewalk.com/

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