DPW Safety Meeting

4:20 Spire
One of the DPW crews has been putting up spires for days, along the Esplanade and down each of the Promenades at 3:00, 6:00, and 9:00. During the dust storms last weekend the spires and signs are what got people safely through town. They were about the only thing you could see on the streets besides other vehicles that seemed to appear out of nowhere through the blowing dust. Today at 4:20 the spires crew finished the job with a well-attended celebration.

I wouldn’t call it a mandatory safety meeting, but pretty much everyone attended the ceremony that accompanied the installation of the 4:20 spire just off the Esplanade. This was the last of nearly 300 spires installed by DPW, and it was a pretty special moment. Everyone was feeling festive, and smiles were abundant. People hung out for quite a while, celebrating and carousing. We took some great photos of Cowboy Carl surrounded by all the DPW women, and Coyote addressed the crowd about the significance of the spire.

The spires crew usually does a really good job, with each spire being perfectly placed and aligned, but this one is a little off. Well, actually it’s quite a bit off, if you know what I mean. You can stop by and check it out. Look for the newly-erected red Octagon and the not-quite-vertical spire sticking up out of it, smartly decorated. And remember, safety third.

Ladies Night
Tonight was Ladies Night at the Ghetto, a DPW tradition. I heard it started years ago when some of the gals from the DPW would get together once a week and just hang out making costumes and having cocktails, no guys allowed. Apparently some of the men were fed up with being excluded, so they put on dresses and make-up and crashed the party.

This year a couple hundred people showed up, dressed to the nines and ready to party. The girls looked great- some dressed up fancy and some wearing mustaches and packing heat in their pants. Some of the guys looked disturbingly good dressed as women. It was hard to recognize them at first because the light was weird and their costumes were so realistic. Art Shark was killing me because he played the roll so perfectly.

There were choreographed performances and spaghetti wrestling on stage (The one I helped build!). Dancing and DJ music, libations and hook-ups. There were flaming toilet paper rolls being kicked around outside and Nipps actually caught on fire at one point when someone was spinning. (She’s fine!) Cowboy Carl displayed terrific stamina on the dance stage, outlasting the rest of us. People were hanging out on art cars and in the lounge. I’m sorry I didn’t take pictures, I didn’t have my camera. If anyone reading this has some good shots, let me know and I’ll post them.

The city is continuing to take shape. Center Camp looks familiar, and the flags are flying now. The spires along the promenades have helped to define the inner playa leading out to the Man and the Temple. The streets have been driven enough to distinguish them from the blocks. You can see the curvature of the Esplanade from far away. We’re still not that many, but we can tell you’re on your way here. See you soon.

-Wanda Power

About the author: Marnee Benson

Marnee Benson

Marnee is Burning Man Project’s Associate Director of Government Affairs. Her work focuses on permitting and relationships with the Nevada Legislature, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Pershing County, and multiple other Nevada agencies. She helps Burning Man navigate Nevada politics and federal issues affecting the Burning Man event. Marnee’s first trip to Black Rock City was 2001, and in 2007 she worked with the Department of Public Works and the Communications team, writing and photographing content for the Burning Blog “Building Black Rock City”. From 2009 to 2013, she served as the Deputy Director at Black Rock Solar. She loves the way Burning Man expands her world and flips ideas upside down.

One comment on “DPW Safety Meeting

  • al hodge says:

    this is the virgiv al hoping to connect with virgin kim sorry we did not get together that to say yea but would like to hear from u now hopefully we can hook up thanks burning man

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