It turns out even zombies have their run-ins with the man.

But some local zombies are hoping to avoid any complications this Saturday when they gather for Zombie Walk Columbus 2013. The ghoulish meet up is actually a cleverly disguised canned food drive for the Mid-Ohio Food Bank.
The meeting point this year is in front of COSI, a change from years past when the beasties walked their beat in the Short North.
Zombie Walk co-chairman Joe Knapik said the move was out of necessity.

“What started out so innocently six years ago as a small gathering of zombie enthusiasts, continued to grow and grow until word spread and it became a zombie ‘flash’ mob,” Knapik says. “Of course all the while participants would bring canned goods and/or contributions to the local Leukemia and Lymphoma Societies. Obviously after a while crowd control became an issue particularly in the often congested area of the Short North. So law enforcement informed us after last year that we would have to obtain a parade permit, which also meant police assistance shutting down intersections. Cha Ching! The Short North area would have cost us double the amount for this year’s new route, and the good folks at Goodale Park had their hand out and wanted $1,000 to use their park as a staging area. So, here we go on Saturday starting out at COSI and ‘invading’ the riverfront of downtown Columbus. Whew!”

Knapik's co-chair for the event, Vanessa Williamson, said the creepy tradition had humble beginnings.
“The first Zombie Walk was in 2007 and the inspiration came from wanting to do a zombie street theater flash mob,” she said. “But also the intention was to bring attention to the fact that there are hungry people in the world who can benefit from a large community of horror enthusiasts who wanted to make a difference.”

Quite possibly there are some people in central Ohio who have always wanted to do their part to make a difference and still others who have dreamed of being a zombie but haven't had the opportunity. Well, here it is.
“Individuals from any and all walks of life or maybe death take part in zombie walk,” Knapik said. “Doctor’s lawyers, CPAs, teachers, plumbers, artists, CEOs and so on.”

But are they expecting any real zombies for Zombie Walk?

“I don't know about that,” Knapik said. “But trust me, I have met some extremely strange characters that absolutely will not break character even after the walk. I mean it really creeps me out and I often wonder who or what is really hiding underneath that make up.”
Williamson said last year's Walk fetched over 4,000 pounds of can goods and nearly $700 that was donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. “This year we hope to raise at least 4,000 lbs. more and any cash donations will be donated to The Columbus Youth Guild,” she said.

The public is invited and can attend without any fear.

“My only concern for your safety if you attend as a 'living' entity would be from a rogue zombie,” Knapik said. “By that I mean one who has not evolved like so many of us. You see most of us carry a can of spam with us, it acts like Nicorette for a human. When we get the 'urge' to feed, we simply open up the can and chomp down. It's the closest thing we can find that tastes like the human brain.”

ZOMBIES! Canned food drive benefiting the Mid Ohio Food Bank.

September 14, 2013 at 12 noon. Join the undead in front of COSI, 333 West Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio, 43215.