Album:1994-1998 Colorado:1997-10-23, The World Birthday Party 6000

In 1650 a man by the name of Bishop Ussher took the genealogy of the bible and calculated that the world was created on October 23rd, 4004 BC.

In 1996 a friend of mine, Gene, was sitting in his religious studies class and learning this. He did some quick calculations and realized that the world was about to have it's 6000th Birthday! Since there was no year 0, this puts the world at 6000 years old on 10/23/1997. We decided to have a party to commemorate this event. It was the first of my massive parties, and we ended up on the front page of a couple of newspapers with a few hundred folks showing up..

It was easy to get attention for a party that involved a cake with 6000 candles on it (an amazing fire), pinatas, explosions, fire, live Blues music,...

I have the old "World Birthday Party" pages archived for your viewing pleasure as well (though many links have rotted by now).

The invitation
we spread around town.
Making the cake.
6000 candles takes hundreds of man hours of work.
That's instigator Gene
on the bottom-left. We have an explanation of how the cake works
The cake near completion.
Each candle takes about 3 seconds to set on the cake. That's five hours of just laying candles, not to mention all the prep-work done to the candles beforehand.
The finished cake.
Which turned out to be too heavy for the table we made, and it actually ripped wood screws out. The cake hit the floor, and we salvaged the parts of it that were edible.
With less than 24 hours,
the replacement cake is put together like a Frankenstein monster. The blank space ends gets signed by all the cake workers.
I take it upon myself
to make a massive world pinata.
If Atlas shrugged,
the piņata wouldn't be as fun.
Gene makes a speech. All the cake-workers start trying to light
the cake. We don't know if it will work.
Panic sets in after a few seconds
when nothing seems to be happening, and we all start waving the lighters around as many candles as possible.
But then..
it turns out to be unnecessary. All the candle prep-work pays off.
And the cake lights. Just try to blow that out. We are somewhat caught by surprise
at how well it works.
We had a spritzer of everclear
in case we had lighting problems. At this point it was a joke.
So - those flames are over 4 feet tall.
From a birthday cake.
And finally we put the cake out. Harley the fireman. And a cake that looks like
a forest fire. Note all the wax on the ground - it was pouring off the cake in a gushing stream.
Thanks to brilliant forethought,
the top layer of scorched cake is sliced off, and the bottom layer is served.
For such festivities,
even vegan Matt is willing to break his dietary restrictions.
Corie also carves a globe jack-o-lantern.
But a candle isn't enough, so we fill it with sparklers and gunpowder.
That turns out to be very effective.
And the fires reach up into the treetops,
about 30 feet overhead. Fortunately Harley's fireman services are not required.
The world settles down
after an apocalypse. Sparklers!
PR Blues kicks off
my first party with a live band, playing on a makeshift stage formed from the skate half-pipe in my yard.
Time for the world piņata.
I make a good hit,
but the world takes a few more punches before releasing it's candies and condoms. A millisecond after this I almost killed Kale (by mistake..)
Collegian front page,
10-24-1997 [txt]. Errors: We only had one fire extinguisher. PR Blues did not perform in place of "the spigot." The "couch burning" statement was a joke because of recent couch burning incidents in Fort Collins.
Coloradoan front page,
10-24-1997 [txt]. Errors: Gene is not an HP engineer. I did not split the wicks by myself, this was done by a whole staff that Gene was in charge of.

The NY Times also noted the date.

Actually, we didn't initially realize that we shouldn't count the year 0, and ended up having a small (~200 people) party the year before thinking it was 6000. Oops.

Photo album generated by album from David Ljung's Marginal Hacks on Wed Oct 23 18:21:21 2013