By Bixyl Shuftan
The Fifth of November in Second Life used to be noted for various Guy Fawkes Day events. Today, not so much. Maybe it's because some of the sims where it was have closed down, or maybe not so many "Yanks" feel like taking part in a British holiday event these days. But I did hear about one fire-themed event that day: New Babbage's Burning Barrel Race.
At 2pm slt the torch lighting parade will begin, starting from the finish line making our way through the streets of New Babbage lighting the torches for the barrel race route. At 2:30pm slt the Barrel Race will start, then following the race an hour of music and dance at the fairground!
Before the race, I took a look around the streets of the steampunk community, and the course was marked with bales of hay. Maybe not the safest barrier for burning barrels.
I ran into a few gryphons, here to see the event.
On some walls were maps and displays of events.
As 1 PM approached, people (intelligent quadrapeds included) began gathering at the finish line, which was the starting place for the parade.
Avariel Falcon, noted for being the black unicorn of the Relay (at least by us in the paper), was there.
At one point, the dark equine was launching pyrotechnics from his back, "Avariel is playing again with fireworks."
So was Mr. Tenk, a noted local who described himself as a clock-winder.
And noted builder Loki Eliot, who apparently was the one in charge of running the show.
At one point, Loki yelled, "The aim of the parade is to make as much noise as we can to lure awakening the evil spirits and demons of New Babbage from their hiding places! Then when we rolls the burning barrels, it will make them run in fear out of Babbage!! So if you have any horns, bells, instruments that make noise, bring them with you!"
There was one minor incident in which a guy tried to sneak a kazoo out of a girl's pocket. She smirked, ""Them's my pockets...need map to yours?" He retorted, "It's called SHARING."
The Torchlight Parade soon started, Loki Shouting, "Let's light 'em up! Follow me everyone!"
Avatars large and small went down the street.
The path some took went through a tunnel.
and onto a rail bridge.
And then back off.
And we were soon at the starting line. "We can stop with the noise now, hehe. Please step back from the red line so I can rez the barrels." One guy mused, "This is all to chase away wicked spirits? It's not working. I'm still here." Another joked, "I thought this was to burn down unnecessary property." A third responded, "Noo! I have to get insurance on them first!" "Good luck getting insurance now," commented a fourth.
One racer actually wore a barrel to the event.
And another was in a firely-looking avatar.
One bystander commented, "I don't think I've ever taken part, but I'm not sure this is the year to start." Avariel replied, in jest, "Usually we do so much property damage that we only need one round." Another tried to convince him, "Oh take a leap of faith." "Join us!" "What can possibly go wrong?" "Everything," responded the skeptic. "If the plan is to burn things," commented another, "you can't really call it going wrong when it happens"
Just behind the finish line were a number of barrels, a little more than a dozen, most of them on fire, "Buy one of the barrels that are not on fire." "It matters not who comes first, just as long as your barrel reaches the Bonfire." Loki offered some tips, "Rolls your barrel, by flicking it with your cursor, GREEN Burning torches mark region crossings so be careful you don't loose you barrel there. ... When you finish remember to cheer on your friends!"
Finally, it was about time, Loki saying, "The race will begin when I say 'Go!' ... On your mark, get set, GO!" and the barrels were sent on their way
I tried to keep up with the racers.
And there got to be more distance between the racers.
Occasionally the barrels took unexpected turns, going off-course. And the racer would have to spend some precious time getting it back.
The barrels continued down the city streets.
Finally, the first racers approached the finish line.
Topic Harlequin was the first to cross his barrel across the finish line.
Second was Missa Sprout wsherter (Submissa69 Resident)
Third to get his barrel to the finish line was Killua Resident.
The end of the line for the barrels was underneath an effigy that looked like something out of a Lovecraft novel.
As time went on, others got their barrel to the end. One shouted, "The Finish Line is withing Sight, this fills you with determination. =^_^= "
People were encouraged to set viewers to Midnight to better see the fire under the effigy, which started to grow, "Careful not to get hit by burning tentacles!"
"Well done everyone who took part," Loki congratulated, "There will now be an hour of music."
And logs were added to make sure it continued to.
There were more than a few jokes, "I keep seein' these burning barrels and expect 'Donkey Kong' to show up any second now." Word was all but four barrels made it to the finish line. One supposedly ended up on a street trolley.
It was a good time had by all, "Thank you for the fantastic time. Until we meet again."
Note: Sorry for the lateness in getting the article done. Yours truly has been busy.