Something magical is happening in Redding on Saturday, May 23rd. Those who heed the siren’s song and make their way to the lawn at Caldwell Park’s Carter House Art Gallery between 12:30 pm-9:30 pm will find themselves whisked away on a high seas adventure full of myth and lore. Prepare to encounter majestic merfolk, pilfering pirates and victorious Vikings, but be warned, fair adventurer: Here be dragons! Sea dragons, that is.
This is the 5th Bi-Annual Redding Fire Festival, brought to you by Adrionah “Desert Flower” Hodges, Joshua “Jasmine Mullet” Hottel, and Vendors On the Go. This enchanting event is a local tradition that turns Caldwell Park into a mythic backdrop for a festival full of cirque performances, fire dancing, arts and crafts, food, workshops and more. Children’s activities are provided, and families are encouraged to come and join in on the fun.
Sea of Dragons
Each Redding Fire Festival has a unique theme, and the theme of their spring festival is “Sea of Dragons!” As the weather begins heating up in Redding, many of us are longing for ocean breezes. The festival is nautically-themed with sea dragons, mermaids, Vikings and pirates dominating the scene. Come aboard and refresh your senses!
During the daylight hours, the festival’s focus is centered around non-fire entertainment such as contortionists, musical acts, dancers, and a variety of vendor booths. There will be tasty eats provided by Subarama, Rico’s Tacos, Hawaiian Ice Cream Truck, Kahuna’s Mongolian BBQ and others. Grab a bite to eat and then stroll the open air market populated by unique and vibrant vendors. It’s a medieval bazaar with lots to see! Belly dance and fire dance workshops are also provided, each mythic and mysterious.
When darkness falls, fire reigns. The fire dancers light up the night with their flaming spins and swirls. These professionals use fire with skill and precision, wowing people of all ages with the dazzling display.
Why Fire Dancing?
There is something truly magical about watching a fire dancer at work, twirling and spinning flames in artful patterns and shapes. Fire dancing is a creative outlet for the brave. These artists are willing to get burned every once in a while in order to express what’s in their soul.
To be a fire dancer, one must demonstrate dedication and focus. If the mind drifts during the dance, the result is feeling the heat. In addition to laser focus, a fire dancer must practice long hours in order to build up the coordination and strength needed to go through an entire flow routine. Fire dancers exude a self-confident vibe and stay cool under pressure because they know what they’re capable of, and they’ve mastered the art of becoming one with the flow.
Everyone should have a creative outlet, and for some people, the adrenaline-pumping act of literally playing with fire is where it’s at. Mastering a primal element, dancing in flames and connecting with an audience are cornerstones of fire culture. Responsibility is also a recurring theme of a fire dancer’s life, with fire safety being a top priority in their day-to-day existence.
Fire Dancer Desert Flower
Adrionah Hodges, AKA Desert Flower, embodies the fire culture lifestyle. She travels extensively, bringing her special brand of fire dancing to venues all over the country. When she’s not performing, she calls Redding, California her home. After seeing the positive impact fire dancing can have on people, she decided to share some of the magic with her home community. Thus, the Redding Fire Festival was born.
The Redding Fire Festival has become a local tradition that showcases cirque and fire culture, giving the local community an opportunity to witness these amazing artforms firsthand. Some audience members go on to take up spinning themselves, having been bitten by the fire bug during the festival (although lessons and proper fire safety protocols are heavily encouraged). Adrionah and the various Redding Fire Festival instructors offer lessons to those who are interested, always with a strong focus on fire safety and artistry.
Adrionah is community-minded, with a strong desire to inspire her hometown with stunning displays of radical art. Her festival is a colorful, dazzling gift to our community, and an invite to play with fire every once in a while.
This is entertainment that you just won’t find anywhere else.