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Drive-Thru 'Burner' Art Festival Brings Hundreds Of People Practicing Social Distancing

RANCHO CORDOVA (CBS13) — As more places are getting closed and events are being canceled, one group is still trying to keep the spirit of summer alone with a drive-thru festival.

Dancers, interactive displays and art installations are what you would see during festival season. One thing is missing from Summer Spark is the massive crowds.

"Drive-in theaters now are the rage, so why not drive in 'Burning Man'," said artist Lisa Ferguson.

Lisa and Robert Ferguson debuted their 15-foot long bee at Burning Man last year, now it is on display at Summer Spark in Rancho Cordova, a drive-thru art experience.

"They put together an event that not only the burners can enjoy but non-burners can drive through and get a little taste of it," Robert said.

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The one of a kind two-day show runs from 7 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.

"It's amazing, it is beautiful, a lot of love and compassion people are out here showing their artistic creativity," said Brad Vickers who drove through the approximately 20-minute event.

Instead of walking around looking at whimsical art, guests are viewing everything from their car, artists are masked up and even food trucks are creating a no-touch experience through an app. The event is also giving away 800 masks for free.

"The number one rule is to keep people in their cars and keep them moving. Think about like it is a giant drive-through window," said Ed Fletcher, President of Sacramento Valley Spark.

The event is mostly made up of 18 different displays created by mostly local artists. Artists say they are creating a snapshot of what the Burning Man festival is like after it was canceled this year due to the pandemic.

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"I saw how impacted some people are by the COVID-19 virus both from a medical standpoint and a psychological standpoint. We wanted to be part of the solution," he said.

He hopes it also provides an outlet for people who have been spending most of their time inside due to social distancing.

"We also wanted to offer people some inspiration. A thought of how we can adjust and evolve in this situation. I don't think that we need to jump back into doing the exact same things we did before the pandemic. We need to figure out how we can live better during the pandemic until we can get back to regular life," he explained.

The event registered nearly 400 pre-sold tickets. People can still purchase tickets at the gate.

Summer Spark is funded by a grant from the Community Enhancement fund from the City of Rancho Cordova. Money raised during the weekend will go towards creating a one-year temporary art park at the Mine Shaft Site.

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