Bonfire at the Iron Furnaces 2014



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Although I only just got around to sharing the photos from last year’s Bonfire at the Iron Furnaces, this year’s event has already passed and the photos have been shared elsewhere, so it’s high time they appear here.

This was the bonfire’s fourth year and, for me, a bit of a change in that I was no longer just a festive party-goer with a camera, but actually on assignment for the Vintage Theater Ensemble, who were performing at the Bonfire and asked me to provide coverage.

The ensemble put on four performances throughout the course of the evening, each of them different and each fitting a general theme that I’d call “cultural parables with a touch of the supernatural.”  Across two hours, the cast introduced us to prankster pookas, cocky coal miners, and even Death herself.

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During an intermission I was able to grab a few photos of fire-twirlers putting on a demonstration.  This is the sort of thing that’s just plain fun to photograph, since it presents the challenge of capturing the fire in streaming motion, while at the same time getting a view of the dancers that’s not entirely blurred or soft.

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And then of course there was the bonfire itself, which flared into a towering celebratory inferno.  On a cold night it was tempting to sidle right up to the safety ropes, although I found that even at that distance, it was hot enough to be uncomfortable after only a moment.

Despite having a great time, and being thankful to the county for putting on this event each year, I’m sad to say that this year seemed a little smaller than previous years.  Perhaps the threat of rain kept people at home.  But hopefully they join us next year for what is simply one of my favorite nights of the year.

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