With Burning Man just around the corner, thousands of people are flocking to the Black Rock Desert to enjoy a weekend of art, music, and lots of dust.
The Reno-Tahoe International Airport is welcoming around 20,000 Burners this week and what better way to greet them than with Burning Man-costumed pups. Based in Reno, Paws 4 Passengers is a team of therapy dogs that go to the Reno-Tahoe International Airport to help alleviate the stress of weary travelers. The team of pups will go to the airport to greet guests around busy travel times like around the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, or even if you have your heart set on being greeted by a specific dog.
However, for this year’s Burning Man Paws 4 Passengers furry Burners donned their best Playa costumes to greet incomers for a couple of hours this past Monday. People came from more than 34 countries to attend Burning Man, which brings about $11 million in revenue into the region.
“Passengers 4 Paws greets the passengers and breathes some life into them after their long flights,” says Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority Public Relations Coordinator Annie Turner. “Our therapy dogs went out today (Aug. 26) in crazy bright colorful outfits, hats, glasses, and bandanas. One small dog had a frilly, furry outfit on- people loved it,” she adds. The Passengers 4 Paws event also coincides with the Reno-Tahoe International Airport Burning Man art exhibit that greets travelers in Concourse C.
Burning Man first started in San Francisco in 1986 and then segued over to the Black Rock Desert where it could accommodate more people. In 2016, the organization purchased the 3800-acre ranch located two hours north of Sparks to give Burning Man a permanent home. In 2004, Burning Man cofounder Larry Harvey created the 10 Principles of Burning Man to capture the ethos of the event since its inception. The 10 “guidelines” acknowledge and embrace: radical inclusion, gifting, decommodification, radical self-reliance, radical self-expression, communal effort, civic responsibility, leaving no trace, participation, and immediacy.
“There were a lot of happy, excited free spirits and a ton of creativity in the airport today,” says Turner.
Around 70,000 people attend Burning Man and the wooden man structure that burns at the end of the event has grown from 8 feet to 105 feet tall. Burning Man welcomes all kinds of life-size art sculptures, many of which are constructed at The Generator, a 34,000-square-foot maker space in Sparks.