Sept. 19, 2017
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You Can't Take Water Bottles into Zozobra—But Just Relax for A Second

The system's better than you think

August 31, 2017, 12:50 am
Perhaps you've heard rumors that this year's Burning of Zozobra has become a water bottle-free zone, and yes, this is true. But before you flip out about that and assume it's some kind of tactic to force attendees into paying exorbitant prices for that sweet, sweet H20, take it easy for one sec—it's actually a much better system.

"This has been the policy for two years," Zozobra event coordinator Ray Sandoval tells SFR. "We went into an agreement with the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce to do a green, sustainable event, and the first thing we did was ban water bottles; step two was to ban all of the styrofoam and non-compostable utensils and plates; the third component was to do a carbon study to see how much carbon was released into the atmosphere from the burning and the fireworks, and we offset that by doing this tree-planting program with the Watershed Association."

So what happens if you're thirsty? Turns out the City of Santa Fe has you covered with water drinking and bottle-filling stations (you can still bring in your reusable aluminum bottles, though glass is still off-limits). Further, that "No outside food or drink" proclamation in's FAQ section might not be as strict as you think.

"We're providing water free, and you can still bring in a small picnic," Sandoval says. "When we say no to outside food, the problem we have is that people have brought in mammoth coolers—and those can be, God forbid, an obstacle if we ever have a problem and people need to get out [of Fort Marcy Park]."

Sandoval says the cooler situation was also problematic as each one needed to be searched for contraband before attendees could head into the event, adding that there will be five stations throughout the park for people to quench their thirst at water buffalos (basically gigantic plastic drinking water tanks). "They're huge," Sandoval adds. "They contain a lot of water."

Attendees can expect sane judgement if they exercise it, he summarizes. 

"If you're coming in with a bucket of chicken and a couple of cans of Coke, no one is gonna stop you," Sandoval explains. "And I really want to commend the City of Santa Fe's Nick Schiavo and the Watershed Association for making this possible."


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