Summer solstice.

Wiltshire has Stonehenge, New York has Manhattanhenge & the District, for a select crazy few willing to risk arrest, has Armand’s Summer Solstice celebration.

An annual tradition of … well, let’s refer to it as ‘restrained pyromania’ … in which participants construct cardboard wheels, meet in a blatantly public setting atop rolling hills & proceed to, ah, conflagrate said creations – driving them down said rolling hills.

I get such a kick out of Armand’s clever audacity & should probably draw parallels between the earth’s 23°26'N axial tilt towards the sun & our glorious incendiary orbs of corrugated paper, but really, it’s a fun excuse to enjoy a little more sunshine, nibble on pâte & brie (pinkies out, y’all), pass around a flask, light up smelly cigars & hang out with some of the coolest people.

Ground rules (lest you think we’re irresponsible hooligans) are as follows:

  • Firewheels should be festively decorated, but not over-engineered (otherwise they won’t roll).
  • Fire accelerants & motors are prohibited.
  • A dry-chemical extinguisher must be on hand; flames are to be properly doused at the end of the evening & detritus removed.
  • Firewheels may be assisted downhill with a big ole prodding stick.
  • One at a time, kids.
  • Wear running shoes. (& keep an ears peeled for sirens!)

Couldn’t attend the firewheel this year, as I was travelling in Ann Arbor, Michigan (more on that here & here), but send my warmest regards to Armand & co. No doubt you had some creative entries!

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If you click on the inset image, you’ll get a larger version of Armand’s Buffalo nickel wheel – the sacrificial tinder wheel.
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2 Responses to “Summer solstice.”

  1. donfede says:

    I love the collections/film-strips of photos. Very nice 🙂 .


    • Angelica says:

      If you scroll up & down quickly, it might give the illusion of animation! (Or not.)

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