ThunderBridge stood for Portland in the 2011 Burning Man Circle of Regional Effigies (CORE).

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The design of the ThunderBridge is both rooted in Portland and symbolic of the Pacific Northwest. It is an arched climbable structure reminiscent of the St. John’s suspension bridge spanning the gap between the chaos of Black Rock City and the majesty of the Man. It is flanked by two majestic thunderbirds, each powerful as a storm, yet guarding the journey. As residents prepare to ascend the bridge from the outer limits of BRC, they cannot see what lies on the other side. But, a bridge is a passageway connecting more than just two points in space. Reach the apex, and the Burning Man is revealed in splendor. Pause at the top and consult the wisdom of the thunderbirds.


ThunderBridge depicts first and foremost the legendary Native American thunderbird. Two fierce thunderbirds stand back-to-back, facing the world; watching, guarding, eyes reflecting the fire of the gods, thunderous voices shattering the peace of the playa. To further illustrate the legend of the thunderbird, we will incorporate thunder and lightning into ThunderBridge. As participants cross, their steps generate tremendous crashes analogous to the rumble of thunder and flashes of lightning.

In addition to being art unto itself, the bridge is a canvas for local artists who will be invited to decorate and embellish the sides via fundraising parties and during SOAK*, our regional event.