ROBERTSON COUNTY, Texas — An Aggie tradition continues to burn, amidst a pandemic. Student Bonfire's Burn Night might look different than year’s past, but the meaning behind the flames are still there.
"There’s still motivated people out here that are still willing to uphold the traditions of A&M," said Jackson Blivin, a junior red pot for Student Bonfire.
It has been a year unlike any other for Student Bonfire. While every year brings its own differences and challenges, no one anticipated a global pandemic.
“When everything started it was like, ‘Ahh. This will be interesting.'" Blivin said.
Student Bonfire leaders had to quickly think of ways to keep this year's clean up, cut and build safe. It meant a lot of the early work fell on the red pots and other leaders' shoulders to prepare for Burn Night.
"The reason that drove us is because Bonfire is a force to reckoned with," said Michael Olmos, a senior red pot.
From that point on, student leaders had evaluated how to carry out the rest of the year by setting safety guidelines into place. That included wearing masks, physical distancing and limiting the number of workers at a time.
“That really wasn’t solidified until that summer," Blivin said. "We wanted to make sure we were doing it right.”
Even though this year's stack might have gotten off to a late and rough start, crews involved describe it as amazing nonetheless. Student Bonfire even saw bigger numbers in volunteers building stack this year.
“People love Bonfire so much that even during the COVID-19 pandemic they’re still doing everything they can to help us out," Olmos said.
While crews get ready to relax after a long year, those returning next year are already excited to get started on 2021’s Student Bonfire.
“I’ll always say it’s the best fire I’ve ever seen, but I think next year just might be better," Blivin said.
Because of COVID-19, 2020 Burn Night will be closed to the public. Only those who’ve worked on build and cut this year are invited out Tuesday night. TexAgs will be streaming Burn Night for free starting at 8:30 pm on Nov. 24.
Student Bonfire is missing out on revenue because there will not be as many people in attendance. They need support to make next year's Burn Night possible. For ways to help click HERE.