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The 4th Annual Dragon Burn
Burning a mythical creature supports the arts
March 31, 2023

A
dragon. A fire. A crowd waiting for them to meet. The last Saturday in March was the fourth annual Dragon Burn, a membership drive and fundraiser for the Pamlico County Arts Council (PCAC). xx
Fire engulfs the dragon.

Rain and wind threatened to derail the event. But all seemed well about two hours before the gates to the Red Rooster opened. Most of the wind was blocked by trees surrounding the space. And it didn’t stop nearly 250 people from coming out to watch.

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Waiting for full dark.

This year’s dragon looked a little different this year. it had the same shape, but a completely different style. Dragon artist and designer, and PCAC Board Member Marguerite Chadwick-Juner created the dragon with a Steampunk theme. Unfamiliar with Steampunk? It’s a sub genre of science fiction set in an industrial, steam-powered world reminiscent of the 19th century. Hence the gears on the dragon.

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A few of the faces helping out at the Burn.

The Southern Hellcats performed on stage before and after the burn, with the Drumming Dragons providing an interlude for the small – and mobile – Chinese Dragon to dance through the event.

PCAC auctioned off the right to light the dragon for $400, further helping fund the Arts Council’s programs in the county and the schools.

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Leaving her mark.

It took a few minutes for the dragon to catch fire – the rain likely soaked the dragon more than expected. But when it finally did (with help of an accelerant) smoke poured from the Dragon’s mouth and eventually engulfed the 20 foot creation.

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Getting things going – the tail gets lit first.

By night’s end, all that was left was a burning pile of logs, scaffolding, and lumber. The crowds wandered off to dance in front of the stage and enjoy the rest of the evening while the attendant firefighters wet down the surrounding area, ensuring no stray embers started a fire.

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Firefighter Eric Kindle rearranges the flammables in the tail.

PCAC president Angie Propst said the Board is already in the planning stages for next year’s event. The funds brought in from this year will go towards the Gospel, Blues and BBQ concert, a dinner theater event for Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, and more arts related workshops in the schools.

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The Southern Hellcats play as the crowds start trickling in.
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A young girl stands against the dragon.
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Hoping for a dropped slice.
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Viewers, drummers, and few well-wishes.
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The smaller dragon, usually seen at the Chinese New Year, dances around the larger one.
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Firefighters lay out the fire hose, staying prepared.
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Writing those last minute wishes as the sun sets.
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A slow start gets a visual boost from the fireworks.
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The crowd watches from a safer distance – behind the pond and fence.
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Firefighters keep watch on the fire, and escort some viewers away as the wind shifts.
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Watching it burn.
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As the dragon burns, the scaffolding is exposed.
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All that’s left.

Posted Friday March 31, 2023 by Allison DeWeese


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