Arts & CultureCommunityCommunity CommentarySpotlightFara IllichMay 18, 2016
Downtown Phoenix Zombie Walk 2015 hosted 20,000 zombies and raised 11 tons of food for St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance. (Photo: Devon Christopher Adams)
It is with heavy, un-beating hearts that we announce the cancellation of Downtown Phoenix Zombie Walk. We want to thank everyone — dead and alive — who participated in Zombie Walk during the past seven years, it has truly been an amazing run. Over time, the event grew beyond our wildest nightmares, with 20,000 zombies and 11 tons of food donated to St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance in 2015. With just two full-time event staff at Downtown Phoenix Inc., growing production costs and nearly breaching capacity at Heritage and Science Park last year (that’s a lot of zombies!) — unfortunately we are no longer able to plan, manage and maintain this event in all its gory, er, glory. Zombie Walk started as a free, fun, family-friendly event and we wanted to keep it that way — but that’s no easy feat.
The Zombie Coloring Book was a Little Zombie Zone activity in 2013, with pages designed by the community. (Illustration: Daniel Funkhouser / Colored By: Kris B., Age 11)
Our attempts to move Zombie Walk to a larger venue and allocate enough funding and personnel to fully support this larger-than-life festival simply fell short. With less than six months until October, we made the decision to let the event die peacefully on a high note. From the amazing creativity in each costume to the overwhelming number of donations received on behalf of St. Mary’s Food Bank, it has always been the charitable zombies of Phoenix — in addition to amazing volunteers — that made this event a success. We’ve come a long way since 2009, when a group of Downtown Phoenix Ambassadors got together and said, “Hey, why don’t we invite our friends downtown, dress up like zombies and freak people out?” Since then, the all-day festival developed a kids zone, beer gardens, costume contest, a free concert and significantly grew the main attraction — a 1.5-mile Zombie Walk through the heart of Downtown Phoenix. This event truly bridged entertainment with community building, and we’re very proud of that accomplishment. Downtown Phoenix Inc. and its community partners hope you loved attending this event as much as we enjoyed hosting it. We will continue to plan and support other great events like Meet Me Downtown Phoenix, Viva PHX, Phoenix Urban Design Week, Urban Wine Walk, CultivEAT, Urban Ale Trail, Chile Pepper Festival, Holidays in Downtown and many others. In fact, mark your calendars for City Lights Movie Nights at CityScape Phoenix on October 14, which features a free outdoor screening of Ghostbusters and many of the family-friendly activities you’d find in the Little Zombie Zone. May Zombie Walk forever rest in pieces.