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The 94th Annual Burning of Zozobra

What Is Zozobra?
Zozobra is a unique cultural event staged each year by the Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe as a fiery and exciting kick-off to the annual Fiestas de Santa Fe. The ‘Burning of Will Shuster’s Zozobra’ is presented annually the Friday of Labor Day weekend.  August 31, 2018

Friday evening at dusk the people of Santa Fe, friends new and old, all make their way to Fort Marcy Park where the Zozobra pageant takes place. Located just a few blocks from the historic Santa Fe Plaza. Zozobra, also known as Old Man Gloom (OMG) (pictured left), is the inspiration of artist Will Shuster and was introduced as part of the Fiesta events in 1926.
Shuster’s creation first appeared as a six-foot puppet and has since grown to about 50 feet. Made of muslin and stuffed with shredded paper Zozobra is an eerie, groaning, flailing character who appears to be part ghost and part monster.
Amid fireworks and the ceremonial dances of ghosts and fire a growling Zozobra is set ablaze and it is said as the fire consumes the beast so go the feelings of gloom and doom from the past year. The flames renewing the hope and optimism of the gathered celebrants. The ever increasing desperation of the howling Zozobra can be heard echoing throughout Santa Fe.

The Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe became officially involved with Zozobra in 1963 when Zozobra’s creator artist Will Shuster assigned all rights on June 19, 1964 to the Santa Fe Kiwanis Club. To this day they retain all the exclusive copyrights and trademarks to the figure. As the major annual fundraiser Zozobra has become a fun way for the citizens of Santa Fe (and visitors from around the globe) to participate in community service.

The 94th Burning of Will Shuster’s Zozobra takes place on the Friday before Labor Day, August 31, 2018
The Burning of Zozobra Event Location

The Burning of Zozobra, on Friday, August 31, 2018, is a rain-or-shine event and takes place at Fort Marcy Park, located a few short blocks from the historic Santa Fe Plaza.

2018, Year Five of the Decades Project, brings Zozobra into the 1960s Summer of Love!

The Burning of Zozobra Event Schedule:

Gates Open at 3:00 pm

Live music begins at 5:25 pm with Emerald Zeal

6:05 pm Tupper takes the stage

7:00 pm Al Hurricane, Jr. whips up the musical magic

8:00 pm The Fiesta Royalty pay respects to Zozobra

8:10 m Tobias Rene makes the happy happen

9:05 pm The Beachball Toss – you know you love it

9:25 pm The National Anthem performed by the inspired musical pairing of Presleigh Casaus and Weston Winkler

Lights out at 9:30 pm (weather permitting) and it’s time for the Burning of Zozobra for the 94th time since 1924!

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