Assateague – The Birthplace of Playa del Fuego

My apologies friends. This entry is a bit late due to technical difficulties with getting the images to load. Special thanks to Loopy, one of our awesome Blog Volunteers and also to Rob Carlson and Rae Klein who permitted use of some of their images since my camera took a swim in my cooler and was OUT of commission for most of this visit.

See y’all in the dust – here is the final entry from a month long adventure through Regional Land.



It was a long month on the road and the very last stop on the journey was to the East Coast to Assateague Island to meet up with True from Albany-Troy (NY), Ben Sarsgard from Baltimore – Washington area, Andy Wing from Philadelphia, PA, and OMan from NYC.

Driving from NYC with OMan gave a good idea of the geography of the East Coast. States are smaller and closer together. We passed through New Jersey and Delaware and entered Maryland in just a matter of a few hours. Having left after work on a Friday, we didn’t arrive to the campgrounds until quite late.

OMan made the coffee. We love the coffee.

Impossible to see what was around us as we set up camp. It made for a wonderful surprise in the morning as we crawled out of our tents to find the legendary Wild Ponies of Assateague paying a visit to our little encampment.

The day was spent in the shade, talking about the history of Playa del Fuego. PDF is the Mid-Atlantic Regional burn that happens twice a year – once in the spring and again in the fall.

Much as Burning Man outgrew Baker Beach many years ago, Playa del Fuego shared this experience. In 2000 they were asked to relocate and find a new place to hold their gathering. They needed a place that could accomodate the population, which since the move has swelled to 850 participants. Hence the move inland to Delaware where they now hold their bi-annual event. Ever since that move you can see that the Playa del Fuego organizers have held their birthplace dear because the effigy for PDF continues to be a Wild Pony to this day.

The Playa del Fuego Pony

The day was spent swapping stories and chatting up the history PDF and the about the challenges of producing Regional events. Tickets came up frequently as something that so important and quite challenging to deal with.

Is it gonna rain? Ben Sarsgard and true take a peek to see if we should batten down camp.

Go fly a kite! The kite string was musical and made a beautiful humming noise as the kite flew high overhead.

Team Regionals!


By nightfall conversation turned to fire and art. Gathered around a fire under the full moon there was much laughter and several people picked up fire toys to show us their stuff. Interest from other nearby fires was sparked and the occasional visitor would approach to inquire what that incredible ball of fire they just witnessed was.


Full moon as Assateague – photo by Rae Klein

Andy Wing and Rob Carlson started taking laser portraits of people by moonlight. Such an ingenious way to capture a silhouette against the dark of night.


A very quiet and mellow end to what was an incredible adventure through Regional Land. If anything was learned this summer, it is that our Regional Contacts are talented, caring, wonderful people who work hard to keep the fires burning year round. There are so many amazing things happening out there in our far flung communities that it is easy to get a taste of the magic of the playa very close to home. I have a new appreciation for what it means to travel to Burning Man from far away and I can’t wait to see my new friends who are about to make that journey to the dust.

Rob – photo courtesy of Rob Carlson

Rae by laser light – Photo courtesy of Rob Carlson

About the author: Bex


Bex Workman is the Regional Network Administrator for Burning Man. She is fond of rubber chickens, clowns and pirates. Ye have been warned.