Christopher Rosacker

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February 28, 2013
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Nevada City to host 'mini' Burning Man

For those who can’t wait another six months for this year’s Burning Man, fret not: Nevada City’s Burnal Equinox event Saturday is the next best thing, its organizers said.

“It’s a mini-burning man event,” said Gretchen Bond, executive director the Miners Foundry where the event will be held downtown. Approximately 50,000 people annually trek to Nevada’s Black Rock Desert where the temporary Black Rock city is erected to house the week-long Burning Man at the end of August put on by Black Rock City, LLC at a cost getting close to $20 million a year.

Descriptions tend to fail to encapsulate the temporary community’s event.

Tickets to this year’s Burning Man are nearly $400.

Drawing its name from the ritualistic burning of a large wooden effigy each year, Burning Man is part alternative culture gathering, part art show and part expression of self-reliance featuring often costumed participants, music, festivities and enormous contraptions.

(A video overview of the 2012 Burning Man can be found by clicking HERE — WARNING: Parental guidance suggested.)

While its detractors claim it is a drug-fueled hedonistic festival that encourages chaos, its advocates tout it as a celebration of the spirit of cooperation with a focus on the environment. After the event, the festival’s remnants are collected and the area returns to its uninhabitable barren landscape.

“Burning Man is a place where people separate themselves from their normal lives and society,” said Coryon Redd, the volunteer marketing organizer of the Nevada City event for Gold Country Burnal Equinox Committee.

Thanks to sponsorship by Sacramento Valley Spark, the Equinox is a officially sanctioned Burning Man event, Redd said.

“If you want some exposure to Burning Man, come down to the (Miners) Foundry on Saturday,” said Niel Locke — who has attend a half dozen of some of the most recent Burning Mans — at Wednesday’s Nevada City Council meeting.

Locke, also the Nevada City Clerk and a member of the Nevada County Historical Landmarks Commission, garnered attention last year for his eventually-withdrawn proposal that Nevada City become Black Rock’s Sister City in name only.

Hundreds of folks from as far away as Sacramento and the bay area came to the last two Equinox celebrations, so called because they are held six months between Burning Man events.

“It’s a party, essentially, but a lot more than that,” Redd said.

Burnal Equinox will be a celebration of self-expression and creativity, complete with art, fire performers, fashion shows, costumes, and theme camps, Redd said. But no actual burning of a wooden man figure.

For the last two years the event has sold out at the 950 capacity foundry, Redd said.

This year three official stages will boast music from more than 10 bands throughout the festivities. The parking lot will be taken over for “theme camps” where groups will sponsor “shenanigans” such as further music, plumes of fire, dance, art, a black-light paints booth and even an area to wield lightsabers in defense against Frisbee-like flying disks.

“Gifting is a core theme of Burning Man,” Redd said. “So the event is run by volunteers, so are the camps.”

The Miners Foundry will host a bar and four food venders will provide edibles, Redd said.

Tickets at the door are $25, but $5 cheaper in advance. For more information, visit

To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email or call (530) 477-4236.

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The Union Updated Mar 1, 2013 12:29PM Published Mar 2, 2013 10:19AM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.