It was like a Halloween scene from The Walking Dead as thousands of zombies lined the streets of Sydney, Australia, today. However, it wasn’t the zombie apocalypse — the Sydney Zombie Walk was held in a good cause.
These zombies were more interested in saving brains than eating them, it seems, as the sixth annual Sydney Zombie Walk hit the streets in an attempt to raise funds for brain cancer research. It was also, naturally, loads of fun and the best excuse to dress up for Halloween.
As can be seen from the photos throughout this article, the choice of costumes was incredible, with everything from blood soaked doctors and nurses to mad scientists, gory babies, and zombie waitresses, as people impersonated The Walking Dead. Some even liberally poured (hopefully) fake blood all over themselves as they growled and loomed at passersby in the parade.
As reported by the Daily Mail, with Halloween falling on a Saturday this year, along with growing popularity for the holiday in Australia, retailers in Sydney were in heaven as the gory and gruesome parade passed along the streets. According to Russell Zimmerman, Australian Retailer’s Association Executive Director, five or six years ago, you hardly heard anything about Halloween in Australia, “but now … it’s bigger than Father’s Day.”
Reportedly, major chain stores such as Coles and Woolworths were really capitalizing on the Halloween holiday. Reportedly, Woolworths sold around 80 tons of Halloween pumpkins countrywide last year and in 2015 has enjoyed a five percent increase in sales since the traditional pumpkins arrived in stores two weeks ago.
However, with the thousands of zombies hitting the streets, police were there to warn people to be aware of their surroundings as they posed gruesomely in the parade. The participants were warned to be aware of their surroundings and not get distracted by what they were doing.
“With all of the excitement of fancy dress and socializing with friends it is easy to get distracted, so remember to be aware of your surroundings.”
The Sydney Morning Herald mentioned a group of 17-year-old zombie waitresses interviewed in the parade. Alyshia Randell, Stacey Rice, and Rachel Maloney said the Sydney Zombie Walk was the perfect opportunity to express their creative side, as well as take a break from their studies at the local college.
Randell said, “I love performance and entertaining and seeing people laugh, smile and get scared,” adding that it took around a week to design their costumes and that they even sculpted the fingers from latex for authenticity.
Paul Freeman, a 50-year-old participant in the Sydney Zombie Walk, dressed up with a mad scientist wig, along with an impressive set of fake rotten teeth, but his involvement in the parade wasn’t just for fun. He said the walk was more personal for him as his mother suffered from brain cancer and that a few other family members had also died from the disease.
As it turns out, it wasn’t just locals getting involved in the parade as some international zombies hit the streets for the Sydney Zombie Walk, including Carin Powell, 31, from California. Powell said she originally came as a “generic Californian zombie,” but later said her zombie costume was inspired by her “hopes and dreams,” saying she was looking for something awesome to do and parading in aid of brain cancer research was the “awesomest thing.”
Dean Salakas of the company Party People was one of the event organizers and he said the event attracted far more participants this year, with 9,000 potential zombies signing up on their Facebook page, apparently triple the number from last year. Salakas said that on Halloween in 2014 the Sydney Zombie Walk raised $10,000, but this year he figures they’ll “smash it out of the park.”
[Photo by Brendon Thorne / Getty Images]