It was a dark and stormy night… Well, actually it was a dark and blustery day, one fit for neither man nor beast. But the zombies were out in force.
Saturday, October 26th was Toronto’s 11th annual Zombie Walk. This year’s event was a little different, with a Halloween parade that began at Nathan Phillips Square and followed a route north on Bay Street circling south onto Yonge. The Walk is not unique to Toronto but the event sure is popular. The estimated “bodycount” in attendance was close to 10,000 (with more than 1000 representing the “undead.”)
I confess, I’m not knowledgable about zombie culture. I don’t watch the Walking Dead and I haven’t seen any of those zombie movies. And when my 11 year-old son poses the question : “Mom, what would you do if there was ever a zombie apocalypse?” I’m afraid that my lack of preparedness would make me a walking buffet, since I haven’t spent a whole lot of time formulating a survival strategy.
Anyway, kudos to the many, many “undead” who, despite the unkind weather, came out for the walk. Clearly they are committed to a) supporting the cause of the Heart and Stroke Foundation; b) practicing the art of theatrical make up or c) …. they just need to be committed. Because I was there shivering on the sidelines while bundled securely in my warm coat and scarf. They, on the other hand, dutifully staggered up Bay Street displaying a lot of flesh – and realistic looking fleshwounds, along with spilling innards and many a bloody bosom exposed to the elements.
As shocking as some of these characters appeared, the event was in good fun. There was a wide cultural representation of undead; zombie children rode on the shoulders of zombie parents and zombie dogs were tethered to their zombie masters.
And this year, the zombies widened their circle to embrace participation from other walks of um… death, including ghouls, vampires and other creepy characters.
In the meantime I’ll do some research and put a survival plan together. And I’m already thinking about my costume. I’ll be dressed in a hazmat suit – with plenty of room for my winter coat underneath.