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Raising hope as we say ‘adios’ to 2020

The Santa Fe Kiwanis Club will host its annual “New Year’s Eve from the Plaza” virtually this year. The event will see the Zia Symbol rise above La Fonda at midnight Friday, Jan. 1. (Courtesy of the Santa Fe Kiwanis Club)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

The Santa Fe Kiwanis Club want to help New Mexicans say “adios” to 2020.

The organization is hosting its annual “New Year’s Eve from the Plaza” on Thursday, Dec. 31.

“This is a fairly new tradition for us,” says Ray Sandoval, event chair. “It’s our sixth year putting it on and we wanted to give New Mexicans some sort of hope in an already difficult year.”

Sandoval says that, at the stroke of midnight on Friday, Jan. 1, a lighted Zia symbol will be raised on top of La Fonda.

“We’re the City Different and, instead of having a ball drop, we raise our state symbol as a sign of hope,” he says.

Sandoval says the event will be livestreamed online and broadcast on KOB beginning at 11:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 31.

“Since we can’t gather, we’ll be creating an unforgettable COVID-safe celebration so that all can celebrate this welcome passing of the old year by watching live from your own home,” Sandoval says.

The Plaza will be closed to the public, but amazing fireworks are the Kiwanis’ calling card and New Year’s Eve 2020 will be no exception.

Santa Fe’s own Amado Abeyta will bring cool sounds to welcome 2021 in a solo guitar performance live from the Santa Fe Plaza.

Sandoval says the Kiwanis learned how to keep people safe when the organization put on Zozobra in late August.

“We knew that we had to put on a much smaller event,” he says. “We wanted to provide an event that will give New Mexicans a chance to be present, albeit virtually, but still present. By teaming up with KOB, we can get the broadcast into New Mexicans’ homes. We see this event as an awesome New Mexico tradition that we can continue to grow. By teaming up with KOB, we’re able to reach more people outside of the state.”

The Kiwanis also had to move quickly with its planning process.

Sandoval says that, as the state’s COVID numbers continued to rise just after Thanksgiving, hope for the event was running low.

“We were always hopeful,” he says. “As we moved forward with planning, we also tightened the number of people we were going to need for the event. Many of the people will be pulling double duty.”

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