Though Halloween is far behind us and holiday jingles have since taken over New Jersey; it was not uncommon to see a costumed zombie limping around Secaucus this past weekend. The Walker Stalker Convention, held at the Meadowlands Exposition Center, welcomed thousands of fans of AMC’s The Walking Dead.
Current and former stars of the show appeared, such as Norman Reedus, Steven Yuen, Christian Serratos, and Scott Wilson; in fact, they held photo ops and signed autographs for enamored fans throughout the 3-day weekend.
Walker Stalker Con is a product of The Walker Stalkers Podcast with James Frazier and Eric Nordhoff, two friends and huge fans of The Walking Dead television series. The pair started the podcast after a trip to the set of The Walking Dead in Senoia, Georgia. Not long after that, the Walker Stalker Convention was born.
More Than a Con
“Walker Stalker Con is not just a convention. It is a fan meet-up and an opportunity for each guest to come away feeling like they’ve had an amazing experience, and became part of a greater community of zombie lovers!” says Frazier on the convention’s About page.
The fan meet-up began its 3 days’ worth of festivities in New Jersey on Friday, December 4, featuring many special guests, including Alexandra Breckinridge, David Della Rocco, Michael Cudlitz, and Lincoln A. Castellanos. The event also hosted panels with guests from television shows and movies like Gotham, Fear the Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, and The Boondock Saints.
Even families with young children attended the event. Though zombies are often something that kids are afraid of, the young ones at this convention seemingly enjoyed the painted faces and morbid manner of the actors shuffling through the crowds, scaring unsuspecting guests.
Admirers packed the two floors of the exposition center, chatting with celebrities, attending panels, and browsing through countless amounts of art and memorabilia. Though it was challenging to walk through the aisles of the convention’s vendors, it was worth it to be able to soak in and admire all of the creative fan-made artwork and exclusive collectibles.
Since the event wasn’t limited to The Walking Dead, you could find souvenirs of almost anything, from TV to sports. There were custom t-shirts and replica props that caught the eyes of many of the convention’s attendees.
But despite the activities, it’s the people who really create the dynamic atmosphere that is difficult to replicate elsewhere. Though the Walker Stalker Convention travels to the cities of Dallas, Chicago, Nashville, Denver, Boston, Atlanta, and even London; it is hard to imagine those places display the same energy and the Meadowlands Exposition Center did this past weekend.
Each fan was enthralled by the liveliness that the celebrities, staff, and other fans brought to the event. Of course, it’s ironic that a zombie convention would create so much vitality.
All Images © Patrick Lombardi / Best of NJ