Fantastic Fire Arts Festival

Wherein Utilikilt-clad white male fire-worshippers from around the Bay Area converge on the Crucible in Oakland for their 6th annual Fire Arts Festival and play in public with very dangerous but mesmerizing big boy toys. Whoa.

The things we saw there definitely fall into the “Don’t try this at home” category. This ain’t your Mother’s county fair. At least I don’t remember seeing the Department of Spontaneous Combustion at the Wisconsin County Fair. Doubt I could have missed the eyebrow-singeing 60 foot fireballs. And that over there? Well that’s just a jet engine spewing noise and flame high into the night sky. It’s right next to the steam engine with the whistle loud enough to be heard for miles. Hey Kelly, look at this! Click this mouse and send huge computer choreographed balls of fire skyward. What fun! The only thing that could make this better is an ice cold beer. Oh – they sell beer? Wow, this is a perfect event.

It really is difficult to describe an event like this, and equally difficult to photograph.

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More than once I heard myself asking, “How do they get away with this?” I guess we owe the enlightened city of Oakland a huge thanks for allowing this one-of-a-kind and truly spectacular event to take place within city limits.


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