It’s a really, really big bonfire. Actually it was 4 really big bonfires, each one bigger than the first. They kind of surround the crowd in a semicircle. It gets incredibly hot on the inside and you spend most of your time brushing hot coals off of people when they land on their clothes/hair. I have no idea how nobody caught on fire during this event!
Strangely, it was a lot of fun to watch and it took about an hour for them all to burn down to coals. Students set up the pallets and scrap wood in the morning. Its kind of a contest between students to build the most creative pallet stack and get the tallest flames. It’s been a tradition at the University of Alaska for 87 years. The tradition stone made a brief appearance and was quickly stolen amidst a ‘king-of-the-mountain’ style brawl on a pick-up truck. It was a good time. Check out the pictures in flickr.