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6:05am — Gloom To Go Up in Smoke

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Ticket sales off for this year's 83rd burning of Zozobra in Santa Fe.

A team from the Guinness Book of World Records is expected to be on hand today to measure Santa Fe's Old Man Gloom before it goes up in smoke to see whether it is indeed — at 49 feet — the world's tallest marionette, but the annual torching seems to be falling short of a sell-out, according to the Albuquerque Journal's Santa Fe edition.

The burning of Zozobra officially kicks off the Fiestas de Santa Fe weekend and it is believed that burning the big galoot will consume a year's worth of trials and tribulations, the Journal reported.

But organizers of the event told the Journal this week that while ticket sales were steady, they didn't expect to reach the capacity cutoff of 20,400 people city fathers had asked for this year.

Estimates of past crowds have ranged up to 30,000, the Journal said.

Gates open at Fort Marcy Park at 2 p.m., with entertainment scheduled to follow an hour later, and burning will begin at dusk.

Tickets are $10 at the gate, free for those younger than 6.

For information on where to get tickets in advance for $5, go to the Journal's story or to the Web site at