Annual Burning Man festival nears end

Published: Monday, September 1, 2008 at 8:59 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, September 1, 2008 at 8:59 a.m.

RENO, Nev. The party is drawing to a close at the annual Burning Man festival on the northern Nevada desert.

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'The Man' burns during the Burning Man festival in the Black Rock Desert near Gerlach, Nev., on Saturday, Aug. 30, 2008.

Brad Horn/The Associated Press

Participants in the eclectic art and music event had planned to burn more artwork Sunday night before its Labor Day conclusion.

The celebration of radical self-expression climaxed late Saturday night with the torching of its 40-foot signature effigy. A dust storm prompted many participants to leave the Black Rock Desert before the finale.

The crowd for the weeklong celebration peaked Saturday at a record 49,599, up from 47,097 last year.

U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials said the festival ran smoothly and no major problems were reported. They made 11 arrests and issued 175 citations to participants, most for drug violations, BLM officials said.

Burning Man began in 1986 at San Francisco's Baker Beach and was moved in 1990 to the Black Rock Desert, about 110 miles north of Reno.

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