At the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, Knoxville, Tennessee, had a zombie problem on October 22nd. That problem raised public awareness and was a good time for all of the zombified attendees as the undead walked the streets. Well, they are not really undead more like the living portraying the undead. The Knoxville Zombie Walk is a themed event that gains attention and food donations for Knoxville Area Rescue Ministries (KARM). People come to the event dressed in their zombie best, bring canned food as a donation to KARM and strut their stuff throughout the downtown area of Knoxville.
This is the second year of the event and it is getting bigger each year. Before the walk they gave out awards for Best Make-Up, Best Zombie and Best Zombie Couple. The pre-walk part of this event was as interesting as the event itself. The staging area was Market Square in downtown Knoxville. As the time for the walk approached zombies began to trickle in. And though they were dressed up, very few of them were in character yet. They stood around, chatting with friends and hanging out… dressed as zombies. The amazing thing was the number of families that had turned out together to support this event and KARM. There were groups of friends, whose zombie outfits were coordinated, there were people dressed as zombies and zombie hunters from the movies and there were families that had all the kids dressed up n their zombie best. Even children too young to walk the event and instead were confined to their strollers were in on the action.
Most of the costumes were homemade. But being homemade does not mean that they lacked in quality or imagination. Simple makeup and a good zombie walk was all that some people needed to look the part. Others had donned special-effects appliances to make them stand out from the crowd. Every manner of dress was taken into account as well: from wedding dresses and tuxes, to suits and cheerleaders, black tie was in effect for a lot of the participants. Of course you had the more flamboyant as well, one person took a page from the comic books and arrived as Zombie-Spiderman.
Closer to the actual start of the walk, more than 300 people gathered around the stage and waited for the word to start the 2011 Zombie Walk. One of the organizers made sure that everyone knew to place their food next to the hearse that had been brought in to transport the donations to KARM. The zombies also got their rules before the walk started to make sure that innocent bystanders were not harassed, traffic laws were obeyed and most importantly there was no vandalism. As the walk started and the shambling horde of bloodthirsty zombies started their walk toward the Old City, there was a pile of canned goods left to be taken to KARM. The people that had been hanging out at the Farmers Market and the regulars at Market Square got a good show as 300 zombies started to amble through downtown and more importantly a worthy charity and food ministry got some well deserved publicity.