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Goodbye to Gloom: 90th burning of Zozobra

Zozobra 2014

Thousands of people attended the 90th burning of Zozobra at Fort Marcy Park in Santa Fe, Friday August 29, 2014. The annual event has been moved back to Friday night. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)


Revelers filled Santa Fe’s Fort Marcy Park on Friday for the 90th burning of Zozobra.

For the first time since a fatal shooting after Old Man Gloom’s torching in 1997, the event was moved back to Friday night, a move intended to boost attendance and allow more children to attend, accompanied by beefed-up security.

More than 10,000 advance tickets were sold and thousands more showed up to see their woes go up in smoke with the giant puppet.

Santa Fe police estimate more than 30,000 people turned out for the annual ritual kicking off Fiestas de Santa Fe.

Police spokeswoman Celina Westervelt says there were no arrests or major incidents.

One man was taken to a hospital from Fort Marcy Park after reporting breathing problems.

Zozobra is put on by the Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe each year. It was traditionally held on Friday nights from 1962 until 1997, when a shooting left one dead.

The 90-year-old event concludes with the burning of a towering figure stuffed with shredded paper to help drive away the doom and gloom of the previous year.