Denver “Freeze” Mob (1st Annual)

First Annual Denver Freeze

1st Annual Denver Freeze @ 16th street Mall * meet corner of Colfax and Broadway at 2:30 pm sharp, Denver * Sunday, June 29, 2008

A well thought out and planned event – sponsored by MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and as well as Denver Burning Man, Cacophony, and other entities who helped gather together a crowd for the event. Media was present – at least Channel 2 news – to broadcast the spectacle. It’s not usually how Flash mobs should or do work, and it seems to be a continuation of a trend with flash mobs these days with sponsors hosting the events. I think it was successful for the causes of awareness that MADD and couchsurfing sought to accomplish. As I made my way down to Colfax and Broadway, I found a mass crowd gathered in City Center park with a bicycle leaned up against a tree hosting a sign “Couchsurfing”. I knew I was in the right place. They asked that we dress normal for this one – which again, a different presence than usual flash mobs that are often sponsored by Burners, Cacophonists, and Mobbers who like to dress up in costume. A few were in costume though. After a brief presentation from “Couchsurfing” to make awareness of their fabulous network (which I’ve been meaning to join for years and finally did last night because of the Freeze) and then MADD got up and talked about their mission and message they wanted to promote through the event. We processed to 16th street mall between California and Treemont and at 3:00 pm sharp all froze for 5 minutes in place. I made the uncomfortable choice to prop my boot on the flower pot and freeze tying my shoe on one leg – that was an uncomfortable and painful standing on one foot 5 minutes. Plus I got honked at by two buses as I guess I froze a little to close to the bus lane – added more effect I suppose. It seemed to be a success. Fun by all. All the news channels seemed to promote that it was just a MADD event as a demonstration of 5 minutes of being frozen and still to represent the deaths of 250+ Colorado drunk driver deaths. The following is a great before/during/after 9 minute youtube presentation of the event, where I spy’ed myself shot more than a handful times. The first 5 minutes you’ll get some info about MADD, Couchsurfing, and organizing the event then the fun event itself. With a wrap-up of the impact.

It was pretty fun watching the public freak out between concern and paranoia, to humor and amazement. Of course I think the concerned ones took to heart the watching the recent film “The Happening” for why they freaked.

Someone’s Youtube (poor quality) of the newscast on their tv from CW2

Someone’s Youtube (poor quality) of the newscast on their tv from Fox 31 News spokesperson introducing the event

Procession to the event

CW2 News / KWGYN Report: “Freeze Mob Draws Attention to Victims of Drunk Drivers”
Hundreds stop in mid-motion on 16th Street Mall to highlight issue
By Laura Main, News2 * June 30, 2008

DENVER (KWGN) The 16th Street Mall was literally frozen in time Sunday afternoon. 226 people froze in mid-motion for five minutes to represent the 226 people who died in Colorado in alcohol-related crashes in 2006. At 3 p.m., life went from normal to strangely still and silent on the mall, all to prove a point. Emily Topkins is the Executive Director of the Colorado chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, “We want to freeze drunk driving in its tracks. We want to eliminate it. We want to stop it, but someone’s life absolutely stops at the moment of impact.” And the “freeze mob” definitely had an impact on people just walking by, who had no idea what was going on. Participant Devon McKinney said she got some strange reactions. “We had a guy come up and take our pictures and we had a guy and his girlfriend come up and they were like what’s going on and he was like, let’s just leave. We just need to leave.” Others thought it was a great idea. Spectator Russ Sprinkle said, “We were just walking down the middle and we started realizing everybody is frozen, so we were like we thought we’d take their picture. We look and everybody is just still, it was kind of neat.”
A neat spectacle with a serious reminder. Some participants spent their frozen time identifying with the victims of drunk driving crashes. “I was actually thinking about the length of time as we were standing there because we know of particular victims who’ve been for instance trapped in a car for less than 5 minutes and it felt like an eternity when I was standing there frozen and I wasn’t in any pain,” said one.
Organizers say Sunday’s event was a great success. It’s also a chance to promote the Walk Like MADD 5K, August 2nd at Sloan’s Lake Park. The non-competitive family walk will raise money to support MADD’s mission to eliminate drunk driving. (great news clip and viewing of the event in the above link … ca 1.5 minutes)
It was a fabulous event! Rating : 5 stars out of 5.

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