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Wednesday, August 30th, 2017 at 11:36 pm

Once a year, Fort Marcy Park in Santa Fe turns into a bustling crowd of 40,000 people from around the state, all of whom have gathered to witness the burning of Zozobra. The annual event hosted by the Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe consists of the burning of a giant puppet nicknamed “Old Man Gloom.” The burning of Zozobra, the 50-foot mobile statue made of muslin and then stuffed with shredded paper, is said to be based on the belief that “as fire consumes the beast, so go the feelings of gloom and doom from the past year.” The makers of the giant puppet themselves write what grievances they have on the pieces of paper that comprise the puppet.
The massive fireball that slowly consumes the animatronic puppet is paired with fire dances, fireworks and a night of non-stop celebration. Leading up to the beginning of the burn, locally and internationally renowned musicians play while Zozo-goers get to enjoy food from concession stands and food trucks.
When the burning begins, eerie vocal groans and slow movement of the giant puppets arms and head build the audiences anticipation until eventually Old Man Gloom goes up in a spectacular inferno. Before long the 50-foot skeleton comes crashing down and the night’s festivities continue on across Santa Fe.
A wild and wonderful event, it’s something every Lobo ought to experience at least once and is made more accessible to Lobos coming from Albuquerque by the student discounts and special train hours offered by the Rail Runner that runs from ABQ to Santa Fe. So, if you’re looking for a cheap and fun alternative to driving, The Rail Runner is the way to go. For more Zozobra info, visit the site: burnzozobra.com