An 8-foot tall, 700-pound, fire-breathing dragon is ready to roll down the streets of Littlestown.
The dragon, made out of tires, wood, brake line, drywall screws, lug nuts, and angle iron, was created and built by Delone grad and Breighner’s Tire Center employee Noah Russell. It will be part of the Littlestown Good Ole Days parade on Thursday.
Tire shop owner Randy Breighner challenged Russell to create a float for last year’s parade. The result was a tire-art lion that “was well-received,” said Russell.
This year Russell decided to go bigger.
“I drew up the plans, beginning with a drawing of what a dragon looks like. I’ve always been decent at drawing,” Russell said. He used graph paper to “find the scale,” and then “used the resources I had available.”
Russell said he was inspired to create the piece, in part, by his brother Micah who had made other tire-art pieces. I chose a dragon because it was “big and bold,” said Russell. “It’s a show stopper, and everybody said I couldn’t do it.”
Russell, who now works full-time at UTZ Quality Foods in Hanover, said he started the project in February, working a few hours a week, but waited until the last minute to finish it.
Russell used lawn-and-garden and some bicycle tires, both of which can be cut with a knife because they don’t have steel reinforcement.
The bicycle tires were provided by Simplicity Cycles in Hanover and Gettysburg Bicycle. The bicycle shops were “real interested” in my project. “They though it was super-neat,” said Russell.
As he did with last year’s lion, Russell used his signature lug nuts for the eyes. The teeth are made from the whitewalls of the tires from a classic car.
The fire is remotely controlled. A button activates a relay in the dragon which sprays a can of butane. The butane is conveyed through brake line to a Mountain Dew can in the dragon’s mouth where a heated coil sets it ablaze.
And what about next year’s parade?
“Maybe an elephant that sprays water,” said Russell.
The Good Ole Days Parade will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Littlestown.