South Florida Zombie Crawl to Haunt the Shops at Midtown in October

Beware -- the zombie invasion is coming, and we've been notified ahead of time in order to prepare.

Prepare our awesome zombie costumes to join them, that is. It'll only be so we can blend in and not get our brains eaten during the South Florida Zombie Crawl.

Lenor Ryan, one of the organizers of the event and Regional General Manager for the Shops At Midtown, spoke with us about the undead event. She and her team wanted to show off the tastes of Midtown, but with so many "taste of" type events out there, they wanted to add a little twist. "We decided that since zombies were so popular [and still are] we would add that as the twist, and that way, make it a little bit different than just having a 'taste of Midtown,'" says Ryan.

Since the Zombie Crawl takes place in late October, it's a perfect way to ring in the Halloween festivities. There will be food tastings, and for those 21 and up, you'll be able to sample some drinks from the participating lounges. "First, you'll come in and go through a screening process where you actually get a neckband and wristband which shows whether or not you're 21," says Ryan, adding that from there, you'll have the rest of the evening to roam around the Fountain Plaza and go from tent to tent sampling the fare.

In between your eating and drinking pleasures, there will also be entertainment to keep your undead alter ego from dying of any possible lack of excitement. For instance, Ryan told us about a Lame Brain Guessing Table hosted by Visionworks. "They're going to have food products inside black boxes so you don't see what's inside, and what you'll do is stick your hand in and you have to guess what it is." She's not sure what type of human body parts - er, we mean food - Visionworks will be using, but since they work a lot with eyes...we're just saying.

May we also suggest how spaghetti goes great with brains?

Other cool zombiefied games are Z's Dead Apple Hole Game, and a Biter's Pong - though we don't actually think biting will be allowed.

When asked the ultimate question - zombies or vampires? - Ryan says she's all for zombies, but it's far from the only fantasy group with a stake in Halloween-themed events at Midtown. Last year, she remembers, she "actually received complaints that we didn't have the theme tied to pirates!" Ryan met with a pirate group this year and told them to come as zombie pirates. Hey, zombies can pretty much go with everything, if you think about it. Zombie vampires, zombie faeries, zombie aliens - you get the point. "I didn't realize there was such a huge following for pirates," says Ryan with a warm laugh.

The zombie crawl isn't exclusively for zombies, though. "A number of people come as zombie hunters, so we [expect to] have both" again this year, Ryan says. There are also those strange folk who go dressed as ordinary humans, yet Ryan assures us those living-looking people will still be safe from the zombies.

She will say, however, for first timers, there will be a "Make and Take t-shirt event" at the Midtown Marshalls on Saturday, October 5. "They're going to have a lady there that's going to teach you how to convert your clothes into a zombie looking attire - they're going to show you how to take it and make it into a bloody mess."

Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 19, as the day zombies take over South Florida at the Shops At Midtown. The invasion starts at 7:30 p.m. and you can get your general admission tickets for $33.33 or be a dead head VIP for $88.88. The day of the event, you will only be allowed to purchase tickets with cash - all credit card purchases must be done in advance online. Visit for all your undead needs.

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Carolina del Busto is a freelance writer for Miami New Times. She nurtured her love of words at Boston College before moving back home to Miami and has been covering arts and culture in the Magic City since 2013.