An eight-armed Burning Man fixture breathed its last fiery breath Sunday at the kickoff of the 5th annual Sunday Streets in San Francisco.
El Pulpo Mecanico, a fire-breathing mechanical octopus, dazzled a crowd of hundreds at the Embarcadero and closed out the day's festivities.
Sunday Streets is an event shuts down miles of city streets to traffic and creates an open space for the public.
On Sunday, the event opened up 3.3 miles of the northern swath of the Embarcadero for hours.
The kinetic sculpture was created for the Burning Man festival and it's drawn devoted fans who even dance around it.
"It's totally alive and it's got so much character," said Earl Stirling, of San Francisco. "You can't not look at flames, and you can't not appreciate the heat."
The final product isn't what the creators expected when they built it in Humboldt County.
They sculpted it from trash cans and junk metal found in a scrap yard. The contraption runs off a mechanical shaft and its designers say it's the popping eyes, face and the movement that captivates as much as the propane flames.
"It's somewhat whimsical, but also scary," said Jerry Kunkel, the builder. "It gets both feelings like that. You love it, but you're a little frightened of it, just like life."
This is the sixth and last time El Pulpo performed. After Sunday it will be being broken down.
It's builders said they have some new ideas for another sculpture they think will be even better and it likely be made out of junk and breath fire.
Watchdogs are questioning an exclusive agreement between the City of Oakland and a non-profit group, tapped to lead a multi-million dollar project to redevelop the area around the Coliseum BART station.