More on the Chicago Full Moon Fire Jam


One of the things I enjoy about The Chicago Bucket List is getting reader feedback and expanding my knowledge on Chicago. One reader has been kind enough to share his insights and give us a broader view of the Chicago Full Moon Fire Jam and what it stands for:

“In 2004, approximately a dozen burners gathered one evening to celebrate a friend’s birthday who lived in the area, by having a pig roast and doing a little fire spinning. The local police arrived soon after…and once they realized we were good people who meant no harm, we were actually ENCOURAGED by the beat officers to return; at that time nobody went to the lakefront after dark, as that area was rather gang-infested. The police felt that such a fire jam would bring more people into the area, and discourage the gang activity. So, the decision was made to come back every full moon the weather would allow, and the Full Moon Fire Jams were off and running.  Ever since, the size of the jams have grown exponentially every year. What started out as a small group of twelve people has now grown into the jam you witnessed last week, with well over 700 people in attendance! 🙂

As the size of the jams has grown, so too have the organizational and safety efforts been stepped up – the caution tape and solar lights are a relatively new development. The overall “ethics” behind the Full Moon Fire Jams come directly from The Burning Man Festival in Nevada; namely:

radical self-expression
radical self-reliance
respect/protect the community
ask first
leave no trace.”

This reader has shed light on one of the most uniques events that you’ll get to see on the lakefront on full moons during the year. The Chicago Full Moon Fire Jam does not support the public consumption of alcohol and respectfully asks that any spectators leave all alcohol away from the Fire Jam. Being a lifelong Chicagoan, sometimes a mentality is developed that having a great time necessarily includes overexuberance, but I would have to agree here that drinking and breaking the law is not what the Chicago Full Moon Fire Jam stands for. If you plan on attending the Chicago Full Moon Fire Jam in June, please do not bring alcohol or any other contraband. After all, how would you feel if you were the one responsible for putting an end to this amazing display of skill and artistry?

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