Brains batten down for Zombie Pub Crawl

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Metro Transit has posted detours due to the undead expected at the 9th annual Zombie Pub Crawl on the West Bank Saturday night.

Not everybody is dying to take part in the festivities, Minnesota Public Radio reports.

The event, which has grown from 150 participants in 2005 to 30,000 last year, is expected to attract another 30,000 "zombies" to the Cedar Riverside neighborhood in Minneapolis Saturday.

But with the increase in the "undead" come problems with loitering, property damage and other offenses, residents and business owners in the area tell MPR.

Hard Times Cafe owner Anna Lohse says the business will be closed on Saturday for the third year in a row because in the past, pub crawlers have come in drunk, don't buy much "just sit around and they drip fake blood everywhere."

Lohse also says one of her co-workers describes the festivities as a "war zone" because people go up to windows of business to hit and shake them. She also says participants threw beer bottles thrown at her while biking during the event a couple of years ago.

The event has taken notice, however, and has hired extra security this year.

Event co-organizer Taylor Carik tells MPR that organizers will pay for 95 Minneapolis police officers and 125 private security guards. In addition, 150 volunteers will donate to time to help keep order.

Efforts are also being made to get zombie partiers home safely.

KSTP-TV reports that the Captain Morgan brand is teaming up with the mobile-based taxi service Uber to give free rides home.

Organizers of the Zombie Pub Crawl tell Vita.mn that putting the event together is no small task, as planning begins in February and becomes a full-time job over the summer months for some of the people involved.

The Star Tribune reports that the event will feature seven music stages. The main stage, dubbed "The Quarantine Zone," will feature the bands Sublime With Rome, A Flock of Seagulls, Crunchy Kids and Kill the Vultures.

This year's Zombie Pub Crawl also features a 6.66K run charity event. The event's website says entrants can either participate as part of "The Running Dead" or "The Living Humans."

"Want to live out your dream (or nightmare) of fleeing from a swarm of brain-hungry zombies? Come as you are and move to the front of the line," the website says. "Humans will get a brief head start before the zombies horde is unleashed."

Last year's Zombie Pub Crawl included a Zombie Carnival at Midway Stadium in St. Paul, where the 8,027 zombies that attended helped set a new Guinness World Record for Largest Gathering of Zombies.

The gathering doubled the previous record set at the New Jersey Zombie Walk in 2011.

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