The Zombies Are Coming!


coaster-news-200-newBy JOSEPH SAPIA

It is hard to kill the undead — Asbury Park’s zombie walk is scheduled for Sat., Oct. 3 for the 8th consecutive year.

Jason Meehan, founder of the walk, has sold the event — the rights, events, Facebook and website sites, and brands — to city tavern-restaurant owner John “Johnny Mac” McGillion.

“I think it’s terrific, not necessarilly (that) I’m the owner, but that the Zombie Walk won’t have any problems, financing it and so on,” McGillion said. “It’s a great thing for the town, us and I can’t wait to get it started.”

The contract between McGillion and Meehan was signed Friday, Sept. 25. Both declined to discuss the sale price.

The event is to run as it has in years past — makeup artists assisting participants and a Boardwalk-to-downtown walk, this year at 4 p.m. — with a name-change difference: from the New Jersey Zombie Walk of years two to seven back to the original name, Asbury Park Zombie Walk.

“Everything’s a green light for the event to happen Saturday,” said Meehan, who is staying aboard this year to assist.

Meenhan said he will be working with Madison Marquette, the company that owns the Boardwalk, on the Boardwalk elements, while McGillion and the Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce will be working on the downtown aspects. The chamber also is involved overall, McGillion said.

“The chamber’s going to be a big help,” McGillion said.

The makeup artists will be in the Carousel House from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., helping to create the zombie effect from $15 and up, Meehan said. At 4 p.m., the free walk starts at Convention Hall on the Boardwalk, heads down the Boardwalk onto Cookman Avenue, then Cookman Avenue to the downtown.

A disc-jockey will be playing at Merchants Park at the corner of Cookman Avenue and Main Street, from about 4 p.m..

The official party is at Johnny Mac House of Spirits, 208 Main St., at the corner of Cookman Avenue. Johnny Mac House of Spirits will be open from 11 a.m. to Sunday morning at 2.

Tropical Storm Joaquin was forming in the Atlantic Ocean earlier this week, affecting the East Coast. The National Weather Service in recent days was forecasting the likelihood or possibility of rain through Saturday, the day of Zombie Walk.

In the past, Zombie Walk has attracted 15,000 or more, a combination of participants dressing as zombies and spectators, according to the Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce. In 2013, for example, there were an estimated 10,000 “zombies” and 10,000 spectators, the chamber has said.

What also may be working against Zombie Walk this year is the Is-it-on-or-Is-it-off? question if it would happen until recent days. Eight days before the event, both the website and Facebook pages announced the event was a go, Meehan said.

The way the continuation of Zombie Walk unfurled probably helped, giving the event a spark, McGillion said. Not only was the word put out by Meehan on Friday, but word has been unfolding the event was looking to continue, McGillion said.

“I think the word is around,” McGillion said. “The word spread well.”

City officials formally approved this year’s event last week.

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