Like a scene out of a Romero scare-fest, the undead emerged from the darkness. They jolted through downtown streets. They screamed for brains. And then a rogue element of Asheville’s zombie horde descended upon the Asheville Civic Center on Sunday night and staged a political protest the likes of which the city has never seen.
The third Asheville Zombie Walk had it all this year — a game of kickball and live music in Montford Park before the march through town, then a meet-up at Asheville Pizza & Brewing Co. for an after-party. In between, the zombies literally took the streets of Asheville.
Hundreds of blood-spattered corpses clattered up Lexington Avenue, then over to College Street and Patton Avenue before heading down Coxe Avenue and their bar destination. A zombie bride and groom walked aside a zombie Elvis and zombie children. Zombies were covered in blood and sported horribly infected neck wounds. A distinctly untalented zombie band provided a bizarre soundtrack to match the inhuman sounds emanating from the soulless mob.
The zombies attacked the big windows at Mela restaurant on Lexington, and banged on the cars of motorists who stopped in the road to let the decaying wave pass. But just as the group was about to reach its destination, one zombie mentioned the Asheville Civic Center, and the tide turned. The Civic Center was playing host to thousands of Republican Party supporters gathered to see Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who had arrived to rally the faithful.
Suddenly the street in front of the Civic Center was filled with zombies toting signs that read “Another Zombie for Palin,” “I would vote Republican but I crave brains,” and “Pro Choice, Pro Zombie, This is Asheville.” One crazed zombie yelled “9/11 was an inside job” over and over at the top of his maggoty lungs. Others chanted “John McCain sucks.”
Those that attended the rally mostly ignored the zombie mob, though a few stopped to challenge them or simply laugh them off. A few took photos of a sight likely not to be repeated any time soon.
— Jason Sandford