Burning Man 2017: 7 things you should know
Here's an easy recipe for a snack that is sure to go over well at Burning Man. Jenny Kane/RGJ
While some things never change, Burning Man is certainly a different dirty beast every year.
Whether or not you're attending the pilgrimage to the Black Rock Desert in Northern Nevada in 2017, here are some fun facts you may not have known about this year's event:
1. The Man was raised by hand this year
Back in the day, the "Man," or the central effigy that is burned down on the penultimate night of the weeklong event, was pulled up in a barn-raising style, by rope and hands. In recent years, the man has been propped up using equipment, but -- for the first time in 17 years -- the man's stance is thanks to human blood, sweat and tears.
2. Marijuana, may I?
No you may not, by law. Burning Man has a no-drugs policy, and that includes drugs that are legal in Nevada but illegal by federal law. It's important to remember that the Burning Man is held on federal land, which means any amount of marijuana is illegal at Burning Man, and there will be federal officers at the event. Will they arrest you? That's another story.
3. 31 flavors of Burning Man
A local ice creamery, Icecycle Creamery, in Reno has Burning Man-flavored frozen dairy through August, including Burning Breakfast (bourbon and bacon), Center Camp Coffee, Black Rock Rum Raisin and Strawberry Margarita sorbet. FYI the flavors are only available at the downtown location. It's homemade and local, which means it's that much less guilt-free.
4. Burner art is Smithsonian bound
If you are in Reno before or after Burning Man, make sure to hit up the "City of Dust" exhibition, which chronicles the history of Black Rock City, the pop-up metropolis that is home to 68,000 people this year over Labor Day Weekend. The exhibition, native to the Nevada Museum of Art, will head to the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. early next year.
5. Radical ritual
This year's theme is radical ritual. There are hundreds of thousands that derive from Burning Man. Some folks like to greet the morning sunrise every day, some like to wear tutus on Tuesdays, some like to build art and pretty much everyone likes to burn the man down at the end of it all. Figure out what your ritual is or perhaps bring one from home.
6. Wet 'n Wild
The Black Rock Desert playa is a big bed of dust, and when that dust gets wet it turns to slippery muck, kinda like the clay goop that slides off your hands at the potter's wheel when you're hanging out with Patrick Swayze (Hello, "Ghost."). Considering all of the precipitation that Northern Nevada has received this year, be prepared for wet weather. If rain comes it will likely only be brief, but don't drive, don't even bother with rain boots and just wait it out or take a mud bath. And then take a vinegar bath after so your skin doesn't shrivel up into crocodile skin.
7. Biggest little art lovers
Reno is really stepping up its Burning Man art game. The Biggest Little City is home to a wide array of Burning Man art, and its newest addition is the "Space Whale," which many of you remember from last year's celebration. Hint: It was the life-size whale duo made of stunning stained glass. Ring a bell? Stop by after you stock up on rebar and Oreos before you complete your last leg of travel.