Walk, stagger or crawl to the 11th annual Long Beach Zombie Fest and channel your inner ghoul with a horde of undead festivities that are sure to bring your Halloween spirit to life.
From Friday, Oct. 19, to Sunday, Oct. 21, revelers will join the zombie takeover of Rainbow Lagoon. The much anticipated Zombie Walk will take place nightly, as the living dead invade the streets of Long Beach. During the day, the festival will offer a wide range of activities to get its participants into the undead state of mind.
Start your zombie transformation with the artists of Cinema Makeup School. Their Zombification Zone will be open all three days, and there is no additional charge for your macabre makeover. For those who want to take their transformation to the next level, facial prosthetics will be professionally applied for $60.
Once you have been zombified, pick out props and strike a pose at the photo booth. Free e-photos will capture you and your horde in all your gory glory. If you are feeling particularly horrifying, head over to the Zombie Outbreak Cage. This “Interactive Quarantine Scare Zone” will unleash you onto unsuspecting festival-goers to elicit as many scares and screams as possible.
If scaring the living awakens your appetite, try your hand at the brain eating contest. This contest is the real deal: Vegan zombies beware. For the kids, brain cupcakes will provide a sweeter scare.
Still feeling competitive? The fun doesn’t end there – a costume contest will be held to determine the best adult, child and group costumes. Participants are encouraged to channel “zombified” versions of their favorite cartoon, cinema or pop culture figures.
Shake your bones with the Ghoulie Girls of Rhythm Coffin as they teach the audience their original dance, the “Zombie Watusi.” You will also have the chance to learn the famous “Thriller” choreography from Michael Jackson tribute artist REMJ. The weekend will be jam-packed with live music, so you will have plenty of chances to try out your new undead dance moves. Featured artists include Count Smokula, United Rage and Monte Revolta & His Band of Living Dead.
Ready to face your fears? Watch Auzzy Blood and Dangerous D test the limits of the human body during their shocking freak shows. For a slithering scare, face over 100 reptiles in the SCHA&R’s exhibit, which includes “glow in the dark” reptiles and a “Fear Factor” interactive attraction. Take your fright to the next level with Unhallowed Productions’ Haunted Nightmare Maze. For just $5, you will be immersed in this infamous 2,500-square-foot labyrinth of horror that is sure to get your adrenaline pumping.
If you have ever wondered how you would fare in a zombie apocalypse, the Zombie Fest is ready to test your survival instincts. SoCal Zombie Survival will be hosting “Dystopia Rising,” a live-action roleplay (LARP) that will put you face-to-face with a continuous onslaught of zombies as you fight for your life. Your skills will be tried further during the Zombie Apocalypse Scavenger Hunt: Participants are warned that “only a few could actually survive last year … knowledge is power and in this instance it is necessary for survival.”
Not ready to commit to a life among the undead? Fear not, costumes of all varieties are welcome at this Halloween celebration, and while costumes are encouraged, they are not mandatory. This event is child-friendly, but parents are advised that “if your little one is anxious and scared of monsters, please consider getting a sitter.” Not every feature is spooky – the Lightspeed Saber League lessons and duals will test your agility, and the Altervision 3D Blacklight Experience will take you on a trip to outer space. The Batcave Hollywood Lounge and Oddity Bazaar will feature famous cosplay personalities, comic book writers, actors, artists and more.
Bring home a spooky souvenir from the Little Shop of Horrors marketplace, where vendors will offer everything from horror clothing to knick-knacks or collectibles. If you’re feeling lucky, you may take the fun home with you through giveaways hosted by Paramount Pictures and OC Ghosts and Legends.
The most infamous feature of the fest is the nightly Zombie Walk. The invasion will begin near Shoreline Village and will proceed around the Pike through the Harbor. Participants will communicate only in a manner consistent with zombie behavior, including grunting, groaning or moaning calls for brains, according to event coordinators. The Zombie Walk will last about 35-45 minutes, and photographers will be present to capture the undead procession.
The festival will be taking place at Rainbow Lagoon on the north side of Shoreline Drive, between Shoreline Village Drive and Linden Avenue. Tickets will be available onsite, but you can save the wait by buying tickets online at longbeachzombiefest.com. Tickets cost $5 for Friday, $13 for one weekend day (Saturday or Sunday), $18 for both Saturday and Sunday, or $20 to join the fun for all three days. Ticket prices will be slightly higher at the gate.