those of you who happen to be in downtown Salt Lake City this weekend
(or need an excuse to be), there's a parade happening down here that
has absolutely nothing to do with pioneers.
--- The first annual Salt Lake City Zombie Walk will be taking place this Sunday at 10AM in the downtown area, slowly bringing the undead to familiar spots and popular landmarks of our city, such as The Gateway Mall and Temple Square. The walk gives people a chance to fulfill their zombie fandom by walking in full costume as the "living impaired", while planted spectators get attacked to either become food or fellow zombies. I got a chance to chat with Sarvas, the leading zombie behind the walk, about the idea and planning it out, as well as what to do to be an active participant. All while keeping a twelve gauge firmly gripped in my hand!
Gavin: Hey man, first off, tell us a little about yourself.
Sarvas: My name is Sarvas, I'm just some kid that likes to have a bit of extra fun and I don't settle to let SLC bore me. I grew up in a Montana so I had to entertain myself a lot. I have the same attitude here, so I make things happen
Gavin: How did the idea for Zombie Walk come about?
Sarvas: Zombie walks have been going on around the world for a while, I just thought there should be on in SLC.
Gavin: The walks in other cities, how big do they usually get?
Sarvas: I guess the ones in Brisbane, Australia and Toronto, Canada get close to five-thousand strong or something, but they are usually close to 500 strong. I hope this one is over a thousand!
Gavin: I know there's a large discussion on the way zombies are supposed to act, do they say anything, how their skin and blood look, etc. Are there any set rules to appearance or behavior for the zombies for this walk?
Sarvas: Not at all. Just be undead. If you are a slow moaning zombie, that's cool. If you are a talking zombie that yells "BRAINS!", that's good too. I think the "28 Days Later" zombies would be lame for this walk because they would finish before everyone else. Not too fun to run in a walk.
Gavin: Do you plan on doing any "civilians" or "victims" in the crowd, or just keeping it simple?
Sarvas: I hope someone does, but personally I'm not, I do plan on smearing blood on a lot of things though. I do also plan on breaking into thriller dance too, then getting into a thong and hoping I get some tips from other zombies.
Gavin: Will any businesses be participating in the walk as "trashed stores"?
Sarvas: I hope no one vandalizes anything. If anyone wants this to happen again they won't screw things up.
Gavin: Something people may not know is you're not helping anyone dress up, it will be on them to costume themselves. What kind of stuff would they need to dress as a zombie, and are there any specific places you recommend people go to check out for supplies or costumes?
Sarvas: I went to The Costume Closet on 39th and they had tons of great stuff. Fake scabs and blood, latex paint, contacts, everything! That's the best place for makeup. As for clothes.. the D.I. is good, spend $5 on clothes you'll trash anyway.
(San Francisco, California)
Gavin: Why did you choose to do it in August and not around say, Halloween?
Sarvas: I love Halloween and it should be way separate from any other time I can dress up. So basicly I can now dress up in August too, and then do something different on Halloween.
Gavin: Did you have to go to the city to plan the route, or was there a different plan behind it?
Sarvas: Yeah, I did plan it with the city. Downtown! Started in a wooded park area, and then threw the city past the temple and then to the mall. It was a perfect zombie walk, the start and finish were key from zombie movies. And the walk past the temple was just funny... you know?
Gavin: Do you have a rough idea of how many will participate, or is it seriously going to be a surprise the day of?
Sarvas: I'm not sure. A lot of people say they are down to do stuff in this town, but when it's all said and done... then I'll know. I'm not really going to count heads when it happens either, I'm just going to act like a zombie and have fun. If it's just me, I'm still walking in it alone, but I hope everyone will show with their friends, and then it's like over 1000 people.
Gavin: What's your reaction to the attention the media has given it as of late?
Sarvas: I think it's good, but I'm trying to push the walk, so I'm trying to keep a lot of things about me out of it. I didn't make this up and I'm sure I'm not the only one that wanted to do this, I'm just the guy that got the wheels going, then word of mouth and that is the best way to get things to spread. I'm glad that media is hitting it up and is excited, but I really just hope people show up and have a good time
Gavin: Will you be doing anything like this for Halloween, or will you simply be focusing on this once a year?
Sarvas: Just once a year. I usually go to a different city for Halloween, Salt Lake usually celebrates Halloween on the weekend before. So I go to a different city and celebrate there so I can have two Halloweens in that month.
Gavin: Is there anything you'd like to tell people who plan on coming to watch or participate?
Sarvas: Have fun and be a zombie, don't break stuff and be safe. Let's make this huge so next year it'll be bigger! BRAINS!
Gavin: Anything you'd like to plug?
Sarvas: I'd like to make a shout out to the human performance project, HPP801!