A Burst of Flame

burning man

The Burning Man festival has been canceled this summer.

If you’re a Burner you already knew that. If you’re a would-be Birgin you’re going to have to wait at least another summer.

But if you’re like most of us staid squares you are, at most, Burning Man curious.

For those of you who want just a sniff of the Burn, which in normal years would entail driving 250 miles to Black Rock City, Nevada, and subjecting yourself to days of sun-blasted shenanigans that just might not quite be your thing, in the company of tens of thousands of people who are taking a pronounced break from the constraints of sobriety and garments, you can head instead to Rancho Cordova on Friday or Saturday night (July 2425) and inhale a mere 15 minutes of Burning Man aura.

You won’t even have to get out of your car or off your motorcycle, not even to buy a taco.

From 7 p.m. until 11:55 p.m. (not midnight, mind youeven the time parameters are unconventional) you can experience “Summer Spark Drive-Thru,” subtitled “Art, Beats, Tacos,” just south of U.S. Highway 50 at 2300 Mine Shaft Lane. The event “offers art installations, mutant vehicles, flow art performances, and late-night eats from some of your favorite food trucks.”

According to organizers, it is not sponsored by or affiliated with Burning Man, but it is inspired by the festival and pays homage to the 10 principles of Burning Man. Don’t know what those principles are? Let’s wave away the smoke and list them, quickly: 

Civic responsibility, communal effort, decommodification, gifting, immediacy, leaving no trace, participation, radical inclusion, radical self-expression and radical self-reliance.

Sacramento Valley Spark has organized the drive-thru, which costs $20 in advance or $30 at the door. Embrace radicalism and go through it as often as you want to for $100. While there, you can order food from the trucks by using a mobile app, and the grub will be delivered to your window.

Is the event family-friendly, you might naively ask? Here’s how SVS answers that question: “Maybe. It’s not Disney clean. Kids will see some amazing art, but may also see a boy dancing on a pole.”

Let’s hope he doesn’t catch on fire.