Zombie Pub Crawl, 2011: The year the undead took the bus.
What started out in 2005 with 100 bored souls wandering around a few blocks of northeast Minneapolis dressed like zombies (yep, that's it; that's the gimmick), the ZPC has grown into a serious, moneymaking bonanza of blood involving both the Twin Cities -- and thus about 20 shuttle buses this year.
Some of the nearly 18,000 patrons expected to buy wristbands for Saturday's Zombie Crawl will need safe, sober transportation, since the event now stretches between Minneapolis' West Bank and St. Paul's Lowertown. They don't really want to wind up dead, after all.
Here are the highlights. You're welcome to attend without bloodstains, but organizer Taylor Carik warned, "That won't last long."
Mears Park with Andrew W.K. (Lowertown, 4-10 p.m.): Pop-metal party-starter A.W.K. can light up even the deadest crowds. Organizers hope he will perform to more than 4,500 deadheads here -- the number needed to land in the Guinness World Records for largest zombie gathering.
Cabooze block party with 2 Live Crew (West Bank, 4:30 p.m.-close): Yes, the once-notorious Luke Campbell is back from the pop-culture dead zone (9 p.m.). If yelling "Me So Horny" through a rubber mask isn't your thing, this bash will also feature local metal vets Impaler (7 p.m.), who were dressing like zombies back when it was actually kind of cool.
Nomad Pub's Brains in the Big Top party (West Bank, 4:30 p.m.-close): The Nomad gets props for cleverness, with ample props being lined up for a circus-freak-style outdoor event that will also feature music by Cadillac Kolstad.
Heavy Metal Parking Lot at the Triple Rock (West Bank, 4 p.m.-midnight): Like its namesake documentary on tailgating at a Judas Priest concert, this one won't require live music, just beers and cranking tunes (although the 4onthefloor also performs inside at midnight).
More West Bank: Acadia Cafe's block party includes Retribution Gospel Choir and Phantom Tails. The Red Sea's outdoor stage features White Iron Band and Mayda.
More Lowertown: Weezer cover band My Name Is Jonas plays Station 4 after the Mears Park party.