Danny Newman is pretty confident Denver will become zombie capital of the world.
No, he's not predicting an outbreak of a government-created virus that turns the populous into shambling (or running, whichever you prefer), flesh-craving monsters, but he does think that this past weekend's "Zombie Walk" on the 16th Street Mall drew enough zombie wannabes to put Denver in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Newman conservatively estimates that about 7,300 participants dressed like zombies hit the Mall on Saturday afternoon, based on video footage of zombies walking through the start gate of the twelve-block walk.
"We had video cameras (rolling) so we could count everyone as they came by, but we had way more people than expected, and it became a bottleneck, so everyone started going around it," Newman says. The aggregate number tallied by volunteer counters puts the participant estimate as high as 10,000.
So what's the current record? According to Sara Wilcox of the Guinness office in New York (the home base is actually in England), the "largest gathering of zombies" was achieved by 4,026 participants at The Big Chill festival, an event organized by the Big Chill (U.K.) in Ledbury, Herefordshire, U.K., on August 6, 2009.
Newman says that earlier this spring, a group in Seattle unofficially broke that Guinness record but had no proof.
On Monday, Newman, who develops mobile phone applications by day and turned 30 last week, said he planned to send his claim for record -- along with the video proof -- to Guinness sometime this week. (He doesn't know how long it will take to get a response from Guinness, but we'll post an update when he does.)
He also pointed out that the walk raised between three and four tons of canned food for the Foodbank of the Rockies.
The walk that began rather humbly five years ago with 40 participants was inspired by a zombie walk in San Francisco that Newman witnessed and decided to bring to Denver, although closer to Halloween instead of the middle of year.
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As for his favorite zombie flick? He has an answer appropriate for this political season:
"I don't have a great answer. The classics are classic. George A. Romero and the remakes and Dawn of the Dead are amazing as well."
Here's a video posted by Time.com