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Monday, October 15, 2012

A Victim's Account from Benson's Zombie Walk Omaha 2012

Marquee at The Waiting Room.
B-R-A-I-N-S! Could be heard echoing from the streets of Benson on Oct. 13; however, screams did not follow. Downtown Benson was again the site for the fifth annual Zombie Walk Omaha 2012. This year’s charity walk benefited the Siena/Francis House.

Founded in 1975, the Siena/Francis House is an agency who serves thousands of families annually in the Omaha/Council Bluffs metropolitan areas. The agency provides a variety of services to protect children, help adults and strengthen families. The shelter provides food to the homeless through its Meal Provider Program, clothing as well as case management outreach services. In an average year, Siena/Francis House will provide more than 20 tons of clothing to persons who are homeless. So, remember next year to bring some spare change for the Siena/Francis House collection buckets.

The charity walk began in 2008. This year, all ages participated in the walk both as spectators and zombies. The zombies were dressed in torn and blood ridden clothes. The streets were not barricaded so -- onlookers and zombies -- were in very close proximity with each other at all times on the sidewalks. Rules of sidewalk etiquette for zombies were outlined on the walk’s website: “SIDEWALKS: Speaking of sidewalks, STAY ON THEM! Don’t run out into traffic. Don’t jaywalk. When crossing at an intersection, let cars through when it’s their turn.”

My 2012 Zombie Walk Omaha horde.
Brian and I strictly wanted to be bystanders. However, inspired by the enthusiasm from other onlookers I of course decided to jump in and participate. A "victim," as outlined on the walk's website, is a non-zombie whose purpose is to be attacked by the zombie horde. Some “victims” like to dress up in military garb and attempt to stop the horde. I was dressed like an ordinary citizen with the exception of my Supernatural shirt. I didn’t duct tape my clothes like the official rules requested. Instead, I wanted to handpick my horde who would turn me into a zombie. It was the torn shirt and hot pink Cindi Lauper leggings that drew me to my zombie horde. That is how I truly remember the 80's Rock 'n' Roll scene (which was this year's theme). I noticed the group across the street and when they got closer politely asked if I could get a picture. Quickly the horde knew -- I was fresh game -- and asked if they could have my brains (picture of my horde is above). So, my very first zombified moment is captured on my iPhone to share with all of my twitter followers. In that moment, the zombie horde welcomed me into the world of the living dead -- all for a good cause. After the brief playful encounter, my new zombie horde only steps away from their final destination continued to the The Waiting Room Lounge and Brian and I made our way down the street.

Once the walk was over, Brian and I found refuge at the BEERCADE. Zombies seemed to be on their best behavior except for when enticed by BEERCADE patrons. At the front we were playing PacMan and a Transformers pin ball machine where on occasion we’d witness a zombie rub their face on the window. I went outside to send a tweet and overheard one of the zombies comment about BEERCADE patrons. She said, “They think they’re safe in there?” Yes, that zombie was still in character; even though the walk had ended.

Fun was had by all. Perhaps next year, Brian & I will get some friends and population-we™ readers together and participate as a zombie horde for this charity walk. Want to learn more about the Zombie Walk Omaha? If so, connect with the carnage at

- population-we™ blog post by Becky Bohan Brown
© 2012 population-we, LLC
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