Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal
Ray Sandoval enjoys bringing the community together via events.
But, with mass gatherings on hold due to the pandemic, Sandoval and the Santa Fe Kiwanis Club decided to pivot for the annual “New Year’s Eve from the Plaza” in Santa Fe.
“This is a fairly new tradition for us,” said 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.”
The virtual event – which usually draws hundreds to the Plaza – will be broadcast on KOB beginning at 11:30 p.m. Thursday.
Sandoval said the celebration is a way to say “adios” to 2020.
At the stroke of midnight, a lighted Zia symbol will be raised on the 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,” Sandoval said. “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.”
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 Amado Abeyta will bring cool sounds to welcome 2020 in the form of 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.”
As the event nears, once again, Sandoval will find himself on the rooftop of La Fonda, helping to usher in a new year.
“Hopefully, it’s not too cold,” he said. “Every year, we’re always dealing with something new. One year, it was so cold that none of our equipment worked. We have to be ready for everything and, this year, it all got thrown at us. We’re ready to welcome in a new year and leave 2020 behind us.”