Bacon wrapped hotdogs under the Doggie Diner Head. Cops, lots of cops. “It is illegal to burn trees on Ocean Beach. Those who do so may be cited or arrested,” the loudspeaker spoke up and said.*
What’s the plan? What’s the plan? Just go! Grab a tree and attempt to make it through—everyone at once and everyone for themselves. Some went straight, others zigzaged through the darkened streets. Left here, a right there, a few more blocks north hauling our post yule sacrifices avoiding the flashing lights. Then when the coast was clear hurriedly crossing the street and down to the beach.
A fire could be seen already underway to the south, but it was already thoroughly busted; so a second yule fire was lit where we stood. As it lit, a third fire could be seen sparking up further north on the beach by another rogue band of revelers. Those from the first fire came strolling to our fire looking for more Post Yule Time cheer. A couple more trees made it to the fire and there was brief lovely respite from authority who were too spread thin to even bother.
The fire died down, the last embers being shoveled over silently by a couple officers. The crowd dispersed, walking away from the beach, past the line of police cars. Sad looking lonely unburnt trees lay dropped everywhere, but it did nothing to dampen the cheerful mood. And so ended the 22nd annual Post Yule Pyre.\* Up until 2006 it was legal to have bonfires on the beach. Since the ban went into place, they have steadily increased the police presence trying to stop the Post Yule Pyre tradition. As a result, Instead of one bonfire to clean up after there are several, not to mention the numerous dropped trees that lay scattered everywhere. The irony is if the authorities even quasi-sanctioned the event and didn’t chase people away, it is the type of crowd that wouldn’t be difficult to get enough volunteers clean it up.