Who's Bridge and Tunnel Crowd Now?

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Josh Keppel
    Matisse Enzer uses one of his flamethrowers to ignite the head of General Vallejo at Fire on the Mountain (Valley) in March, 2009. At this year's Fire Arts Festival, you too can grab one of his flamethrowers and burn the man!

    Earlier this summer in Oakland was easily the most fun I’ve had in 30 consecutive hours this year. 

    I started things off Saturday morning with a drive down to Santa Clara for the 13th annual CA Extreme, a classic arcade videogame and pinball convention.

    CA Extreme was moved from San Jose to this new location at the Santa Clara Convention Center, which seemed to work out well as everyone was enjoying the sights, sounds and feel of those classic games.  This time on carpet!

    Months ago I booked a hotel room at the hotel connected to the Convention Center, so I could geek out all day and night, but then I found out about Sand by the Ton.

    Flame Throwers Descend on Oakland

    [BAY] Flame Throwers Descend on Oakland
    The ninth year of the Crucible's Fire Arts Festival brings big flames and more surprises.

    What a great party that was!  Wow.  Something for everyone, circus acts, DJ unce-unce music, live bands, beautiful scantily clad people and even free food. 

    It was almost better than Burning Man, with the added bonus pointed out by Boenobo TheKlown during his set with Klown-Fi Kings Gooferman, "except we all get to go home tonight and sleep in our beds!"

    The only thing Sand by the Ton didn’t have a lot of was fire.

    So, as luck would have it, the Crucible’s Fire Arts Festival is scheduled for this week and after partying all night on Saturday, I woke up somewhat early on Sunday morning to help set up the Flamethrower Shooting Gallery for this week’s festivities. (Rounding out my 30 hours of ‘fun.’)

    This is the ninth year of the Fire Arts Festival, a great fundraiser benefiting the Crucible's arts education programs for kids and adults.

    If you haven't been to it before, you really should consider going.  I got a ticket for a friend last night who’d never seen anything like it before and he LOVED it.

    It is the perfect way to see some of the best large-scale fire art there is, without having to drive eight hours or get all dusty.

    The Fire Arts Festival has also relocated this year, to a much bigger space right off the West Grand exit of 880. 

    Wednesday night was their first night and it was a bit sparse in terms of people, but I think that might have something to do with how packed the old ones used to feel in 25-percent of the space.

    Plus, I was making sure people didn't burn themselves up at the Flamethrower Shooting Gallery in one corner of the space, so I can’t really say how many people were there overall, but if you have a fear of crowds, this new space should put you at ease.

    The event continues Thursday and Friday nights with a big finale on Saturday night - The Crucible’s Fire & Light Soiree and Art Auction.

     

    The Crucible's 9th Annual Fire Arts Festival

    A friend and I were talking at Sand by the Ton Saturday night and she was telling me how years ago she had lived a few blocks away from where both of these events are now located.

    "Who knew back then that West Oakland would be so cool?"

    Yep, who's bridge and tunnel now?

    Josh Keppel thinks Dan Das Mann should sandbag all of that sand for a bunker-filled WWIII themed New Year's Eve party, similar to the one Are We Really? put on at Club Nine
    circa 1983 one week after the "Are We Really at the Beach" sand-filled party... What'd ya think Dan?