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FIRE BREATHING PRAYING MANTIS

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7th and Fremont

Las Vegas, NV 89101

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Free

Nightly

A

AT A GLANCE

What is it?

A giant sculpture of a praying mantis that spits fire out of its antennae. Why? It's Vegas... why not?!

Where is it?

In Downtown Las Vegas at the Downtown Container Park in the Fremont East District, near El Cortez hotel and casino.

Is it worth the cost?

It's free so absolutely.

What else do I need to know?

Hang around to watch the reactions of startled passersby.

What's the bottom line?

A great addition to the wacky Vegas attraction list.

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FULL REVIEW

Let's face facts: the Bellagio Fountains are pretty mindless when it comes right down to it. You're watching giant water fountains. Granted, they are cool water fountains timed to music, but it's still just water spraying around. And yet it is endlessly entertaining; one of those things that you have to stop and watch anytime you happen to be near when it is in progress no matter how many times you have seen it before.

It is possible that there is a new diversion in Las Vegas that could be even more mindless and yet even more endlessly entertaining? Check out the Fire Breathing Praying Mantis at the Downtown Container Park and the answer just may be yes.

Originally created for Burning Man Festival, the 40-foot long sculpture comes to life each night with some mechanical movement and, most importantly, fire shooting out of its antennae. It's controlled by an operator who will often wait for opportune moments to do it that will often scare the bejeezus out of unsuspecting passersby. It's not on a specific schedule, but somehow that makes it even more of an entertaining time waster. Warning: you could find yourself standing there watching the thing for much longer than you intend to.

The festivities start every afternoon at around 4:30 or 5 when a drum circle is held around the sculpture, mainly driven by kids who want to bang on stuff (note the timing of this will probably change seasonally). The fire breathing happens periodically after dark and is based on the whims of the person behind the controls.

Las Vegas has been sorely lacking in silly stuff like this lately so I, for one, am thrilled it is here.

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