by David Wesley
Blitzing through Ferndale and being blasted by the autumnal breeze, I slowly meld with groups of costumed drinkers all en route to the Twisted Tavern. Away from the early arctic elements and inside the pedestrian club/pub roves a gang of 300 synthetic ghouls (all latex, nylon, and polyester merged with dummy skin, hair and blood) chugging pints, swigging tumblers, tipping shots or still in line with me purchasing a ticket for first ever Zombie Pub Crawl. The Social Connection sponsored the Crawl, setting up a colorful seven-hour celebration for zombie-spirited drinkers, helping Ferndale businesses thrive and expand.
Pinballing myself around the massing tavern, I mingle with Ferndale’s finest zombies and find to my delight a good portion of these undead citizens have lurched to Ferndale from all over the Metro area. Stirring in the chaos, I met college wrestling ace Arn Anderson and his three brothers from Ann Arbor who heard about the event from word of mouth and made the trek. Other memorable undead out-of- towners were Ray Trailer and his other off duty police co- workers from Battle Creek and the scarlet-stained duo of George Gray and his husband Kenneth Johnson from Bay City
After three pints (beer, not blood,) I joined the swarming ticket holders as they moved to the next bar (SoHo), this next pub (Danny’s Irish Pub), that club (Orchid), those next restaurants (Como’s, Treat Dreams,) and on. The businesses participating enjoyed hours of fiendish patrons swelling their lines and bloating their commerce.
I later chatted with one of the event organizers, the president and CEO of the Social Connection, Regina Stocco, and she gave her thoughts on the event.
Q. What was your reaction to the first ever Zombie Pub Crawl?
A. We were thrilled with the turnout. Approximately 600 Zombies took to the streets of Ferndale and we raised money for a great cause, Michigan AIDS Coalition.
Q. What initially made you want to host the event?
A. We have been considering some kind of “venue-to- venue” event here in Ferndale, and this seemed like a good year to try something new here. We look forward to doing more events in Ferndale that are a good tie-in for all of our neighboring businesses. The bars were happy with the turnout and the (resulting) foot traffic and bar sales.
Q. How has having the event take place in Ferndale change your view of the city and its Residents?
A. This was our first year hosting the event. The Social Connection office has been here for over ten years and I moved to Ferndale in 1999 so I’m a big fan of the community and we were happy to have the inaugural event here in our own home town.
At the end of the biting night, this kind creep was tripping up the sidewalks with the last lagging dregs of the alcoholic marathon. The Zombie Crawl was a huge hit with locals and other Michiganders. And by socializing through the lengthy procession it was evident the event was a major success for all of Ferndale. The zombies have spoken, they have shown their support!
Now we wait in our crypts to rise again, after a restful year to combat the hangover, for next year’s
Zombie Pub Crawl.