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Owen Yancher Photography

CITY OF DAVIS ENGAGEMENT

What is the Zombie Bike Parade?

By Aaron Wedra, Zombie Bike Ride Chair, 

Davis has fast become home of the West Coast's Zombie Bike Parade Halloweekend Festival. The Zombie Bike Parade (ZBP) has grown from a 250 person bike parade in 2019, to a 3,500 person festival in 2022, and a somewhat smaller event in 2023, due to very windy weather. Our premier event is the Zombie Bike Parade, which takes place along Davis' greenbelts and bike safe neighborhoods. In 2024 we are going to host a large parade with hundreds, or likely thousands, of riders. The parade will go from Community Park to Mace Ranch Park and back. At Community Park we will have food and drink vendors, a lineup of talented performers, and a wide assortment of activities. We also aim to have tethered hot air balloon rides for the first time in 2024, and our program will end with a skydiving finale.

 

No two years have been exactly alike. We continuously bring new partners to the table and provide brand new Halloweekend experiences for attendees! 

 

The ZBP boasts 15 entertainment stations, several zombie bike mechanics, food and drink vendors, opportunities for prizes for best costumes, and so much more. Entertainment stations range from interactive opportunities—such as engaging with local Davis groups like the robotics team (Citrus Circuits) and the Davis Fencing Academy—to encountering epic spectacles—such as zombies on stilts, an entire Halloween marching band, a Michael Jackson's Thriller performance, and giant octopus DJ station just to name a few! It has been a delight to see families and friend groups riding in their Halloween costumes each year for this Davis tradition. 

 

The Davis Odd Fellows and the Bike Campaign are the ZBP hosts. The event beneficiary each year is Norcal Trykers who create custom tricycles for children with disabilities. We are a triumvirate of non-profits who come together each year to put on a monstrously large and successful family friendly community event, where we turn Davis into a Halloween destination. In five years, with the help of community sponsors, we have raised approximately $30,000 for Norcal Trykers and they have been able to create nearly 30 adaptive tricycles for children with disabilities. These children get to experience the freedom of riding on a bicycle and feeling the wind in their hair for the first time.

 

With the help of our generous sponsors, we have been able to raise money for our beneficiary, Norcal Trykers, while keeping our main event entirely FREE 😎 to the public!

 

Although we emphasize bicycling, it is not required. Scooters, skateboards, strollers, and other modes of transportation are allowed. For those who find it difficult to traverse bike lanes and green belts, we suggest driving to Community Park, where the majority of the day's festivities take place. Community Park has food and drink vendors, entertainment, and the Skydance Skydiving grand finale at 3:30pm. 

 

We invite visitors to come into town as early as Friday to experience all that Davis has to offer: art, culture, a vibrant night life, and wonderful lodging. We suggest they book a room in one of our 12 motels/hotels and provide links and a map for available lodging. We suggest a visit to the UC Davis Arboretum & Public Garden, and a stroll of our downtown. We encourage buying or renting a bike and offer info on local bike shops.

 

Our unique marketing reaches hundreds of thousands (we have detailed records). In 2023 alone we had over 150 sponsors/collaborators/media partners. See full list at http://www.zombiebikeparade.com on our home page. Our partnerships and support from sponsors created massive synergy. The ZBP is certainly one of the top events in our town's history in terms of buy-in from all of the pillars in the community, small business support, and creative partnerships with local institutions. The vast majority of our event spending supports local businesses, organizations and media outlets. 

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How Does the Zombie Bike Parade
Benefit the Community?

By Maria Contreras Tebbutt,
Founder of The Bike Campaign

For over 50 years Davis has been a leader in the nation, by being the first city to install bike lanes. As of 2016 Davis was referred to as the “Bike Capitol”, but as of 2019 Sparta Wisconsin Sparta is now most recognized as the “Bicycling Capital of America,” based on the fact that Over 60,000 visitors enjoy the Elroy-Sparta and La Crosse River State Bike Trails. Portland, Seattle get their share of money spending bike riders too

 

What happened?

 

Five years ago most UCD students and newcomers were unable to find the Davis Bike Loop on their own.

 

For the past 11 years The Bike Campaign has been encouraging community bike rides to make it easy for more people to enjoy the Davis Bike Loop.

 

Over 3000 bike riders enjoyed the Zombie Bike Parade and thousands more learned about Davis’ friendly, safe and wholesome bike culture. Thousands of riders come out for the Polar Bear Ride, Loopalooza and the Ice Cream Ride – many from outside Davis city limits - and they keep on coming back and bring their wallets with them.

 

Covid has caused health and well being to be at the top of peoples’ minds and the continued escalating cost of driving has them looking for alternatives. Sky travel is fraught with stress and cancelations and more and more people are opting for the staycation close to home.

 

Davis’ accessibility by train and easy bike riding make us another great travel destination.

 

We would like to see the City of Davis once again enthusiastically claim our right to bike fame. Join us in making Davis a leader in the nation again and a beacon for other communities who look to us as a great place to live.

Visitors spend money here, marketing Davis by partnering in our Bike Friendly events is valuable because it sells people on moving here and a home purchase and everything else that they buy is the biggest revenue generator for the City.  

 

FACT:  People who ride bikes spend more money in their community. (because they’re less likely do drive elsewhere and have more expendable income). 

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One family's testimonial says it all:

"On Sunday, October 30th, 2022, my wife, both daughters and I celebrated our first weekend as Davis residents by participating in The Bike Campaign sponsored Zombie Parade.

 

After enjoying some live music by the Noise Violation band, trying out some of Peter’s eclectic trikes and bikes, and being chased by 7 foot tall Zombies (one of which had my 4 year-old giggling after she pointed at me and stating, “Oh, look… Boyfriend!”) we stopped downtown for lunch. At one point during lunch my wife locked eye with me and expressed, “We’ve chosen the best place in the world to raise our children!” I smiled and nodded in agreement.

Later, we hopped back on our bikes headed towards our final destination of Community Park where we bumped into a few neighbors. As the flying zombies parachuted into the field and we clapped in awe of what we had just witnessed I couldn’t help but acknowledge that my family, and I felt welcomed and honored to be a part of a community that makes walking and biking safely a top priority and harness that power in community events!"

 

—Austin Oney

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