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September 15, 2015

Billion Bunny March

The Billion Bunny March is one of the more popular events at Burning Man - probably because all it involves is the least bit of costumery and a willingness to wander around and yell out in the wide open. You start with your bunny ears and then stand in line to get made-up, but you can only be made-up if you recite the bunny oath and jump in the air like a bunny. I guess if you can't jump, you'll have to rely on other burners to throw you in the air.

Go here to see a photo of the bunny oath that I did not shoot.

After you get made-up (and get a drink) you mill about like bunnies do. There is some tradition that Elmer Fudds come in among our herd. Some of them carry sticks bearing a carrot on a string to tempt us, so some of the bunnies go off on a paranoid bent regarding anyone wearing any sort of orange. Eventually the Burning Man Marching Band leads us up 6 o'clock to a piece of art called "Hare Today" which was a giant magician's hat made of wood with two giant rabbit ears sticking up out of it. Our "leaders" seized it, mounted to the top, and with a bullhorn ranted to the gathered crowd about bunny rights and the protection of bunny-dom, I guess. It wasn't easy to hear with the bunny art car behind us blasting music, but the exact content was unimportant. We were just supposed to yell when our cue came.

Then we proceeded as a group toward the Man. What happens to those who went all the way through the maze and mounted the Man's surrounding platform, I don't know. We (Jeff, Vicente and I) got hung up in the area where we met Animal Control. These people run around with little "dog tags" on chains and hang them around the necks of any bunny who does not have one. Kids are involved at this point and are often the ones to chase and catch the bunny while mom or dad carries a bunch of tags.

And then there come the sharks. It doesn't have to make sense, but people in shark costumes descend on the bunnies and "eat" them. Lots of kids are involved in that because it's easy. All you have to do is run at any bunny. The bunny's responsibility is to just run away. So it looks sort of like a giant chaotic game of "Tag," except there are multiple "its" and you don't know always know who they are (not all sharks are in costume) and people are dressed as bunnies and sharks and people are screaming and running around like crazy but you do want to get your animal control tag and the bunny art car is still blasting its music and the Elmer Fudds are still trying catch us and it's dusty as hell and the sun is about to set. Afterwards when I looked at my photos I told Jeff "These photos make the Billion Bunny March look dull!" Gotta be there.

Vicente & Jeff (6679)
Vicente and Jeff showing off their bunny make-up which was applied in the bus behind them
, which I didn't realize until I started reviewing these photos was about three vehicles ahead of me when exiting Burning Man several days later. It was no speed demon and along highway 447 it pulled over, appearing to be in some distress...and that was the last I saw of the bunny bus.

On The Billion Bunny March Bus (6678)
Here I am in the bus just after getting my make-up
.

Jonathan (6702)
Jonathan, a Burner Buddie
. Hard to tell if he got the make-up or not, but he got his animal control tag.

In My Bunny Makeup (6687)

Jeff (6716)
Now I notice that Jeff got a black nose while I got a pink one
. Is this some sort of racial stereotyping?

Billion Bunny March (6698)
Not long after this shot I had a special moment with the attractive young man when I went to shake hands with him
. "Animal Control" came along to tag him at the same moment, so we just ended up holding hands for about 30 seconds while that happened, then went our separate ways. We never spoke to each other. And, upon close examination, I found my reflection in this photo. I'm the one with bunny ears.

More Billion Bunny March photos here.

Filed under Burning Man,Photography | permalink | September 15, 2015 at 09:08 AM

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