Chicago Zombie Pub Crawl turns 10

Zombie Pub Crawl
Chicago Zombie Pub Crawl participants in 2013. (Photo by Natasha J. Photography)

The Zombie Pub Crawl has been reppin’ the living dead since before it was even cool.

Members of the pH Comedy Theater started the tradition in 2007 – that’s three years before AMC’s “The Walking Dead” premiered, for the record – as a fundraiser for their show season and educational programs. The Zombie Pub Crawl caught on because people like day drinking and dressing up in costumes and now the annual bar-hop is set to celebrate its 10th anniversary April 29 in the Andersonville neighborhood.

“It’s grown since the early days,” said ph Comedy Theater executive director Brett Mannes, by email. “… I do think ‘The Walking Dead’ gave it a bit of an energy boost for a few years. It certainly inspired some costumes.”

The costumes are the highlight of the Zombie Pub Crawl (not to be confused with the Zombies v. Vampires Pub Crawl in the Wicker Park neighborhood), with some going above and beyond your typical bloody rags and dark under eye circles look. Past costumes have included zombie “I Love Lucy,” zombie “Shining” twins and zombie “2 Broke Girls.” The best ones will be entered into the costume and make-up contests.

(Photo courtesy of Chicago Zombie Pub Crawl)

Because kids wanted to get in on the zombie fun, the pub crawl is adding family friendly events to the festivities this year.

“Over the past few years, we’ve seen little kids show up at our theater in full zombie makeup during registration just to be around the zombies,” Mannes said. “That inspired us to provide something for them too. So this year, kids and families can take part in an immersive, interactive zombie comedy show that will take place, not just at the theater, but at some area businesses too. It’s a great way to bring more of our neighbors into the fun.”

Zombie Pub Crawl

When: 2-9 p.m. April 29
Start point: pH Comedy Theater, 1515 W. Berwyn Avenue, Chicago, Ill.
Tickets: $10 before April 1, $20 afterward, $30 day of pub crawl;


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