On October 30th, I had the opportunity to cover the 2010 Detroit FanFare Zombie Walk. It was an interesting experience as I am a life-long zombie fan. Many of my readers will recall a number of the zombie articles that I have written over the years. I have to say that I was quite pleased with how the event turned out.
Guests of the Detroit FanFare Zombie Walk
The Grand Marshal of the Detroit FanFare Zombie Walk was Brian O’Halloran, the man who played the character of Dante in, Clerks and Clerks II. This was a special thrill for me as I named my dog, Dante, after his memorable character.
Officiating the Detroit FanFare Zombie Walk were Wolfman Mac and Ded Dave. Wolfman Mac is the host of Wolfman Mac’s Chiller Drive-In on RTN, which originates from the Detroit area. Ded Dave is the host of the Ded Dave Show, and online show that is just too darn controversial, over-the-top, and disgusting for TV (that is probably why I like it so much).
There are many complaints that I have heard from people that have been on zombie walks about issues with food, or a purpose. The Detroit FanFare Zombie Walk had both. The Gleaner’s Food Bank was accepting donations of canned goods from those that were planning on going on the walk. Donuts and cider were provided by a local cider mill.
Last Minute Issues of the Detroit FanFare Zombie Walk
The Hyatt Regency Dearborn is right next to Fairlane Mall. The Detroit FanFare Zombie Walk was to start at the hotel, travel through the adjoining parking lots, and through Fairlane Mall. At the last minute, the mall managers pulled out of this arrangement. Also, the 60 degree temperatures that had been promised never got above forty degrees, so a shorter route had to be devised.
The organizers of the Detroit FanFare Zombie Walk took these changes in stride. I do not believe that anyone in attendance had any ideas of the changes, or any other issues that might have come up. The true strength of an organizer or manager is in never letting anyone know when things are going wrong. The only way I knew about the direction change was due to my backstage access.
Now, it was a disappointment that many, if not most, of the people that participated in the Detroit FanFare Zombie Walk were not actually there for the zombie walk. Anyone who participated was able to get in free to the Detroit FanFare comic book convention.
Out of the crowd of over three hundred (by my estimates), I would say that only about 10-15% actually acted like walking zombies. Those that did, though, almost made up for those that did not. No matter how much Grand Marshal Brian O’Halloran tried to pump up those on the Detroit FanFare Zombie walk, most were still just eager to get into the show. This was not the fault in any way of the organizers, only of the walkers.
After the Detroit FanFare Zombie Walk, awards were given out for the most unique costume, the most humorous costume, and the best group. One of my personal favorites was the Lego Batman Zombie. Also, all of the attendees for the Detroit FanFare Zombie Walk received free entrance to the Detroit FanFare, and a number of them got a free comic book.
The Detroit FanFare is going to become an annual event. I hope that in the future that they keep the idea of a zombie walk. Next year, the Detroit FanFare will be held in September at Cobo Arena in Detroit. Hopefully, if they continue the tradition of the Detroit FanFare Zombie Walk that it will be at least a little warmer than this year’s. Brian O’Halloran joked later that it was the fastest zombie walk that he has ever seen as people rushed to get back to the warmth of the hotel.