Burn Another One Down
Zozobra and Zozobro offering options for torching last year's woesLocal NewsMonday, August 31, 2015
We've all got a few worries worth destroying, and this time of year is increasingly ripe with options.
Of course, many are looking forward to the 91st year of the Burning of Zozobra, which will once again take over Fort Marcy Park on a Friday night, this time Sept. 4.
And for the second time this year, there's the not to be confused (or seen as copyright infringement) Zozobro, a student-built sculpture filled with more than 200 worries and regrets from the Tierra Encantada Charter School.
Teacher Joaquin Martinez led his ninth grade class in lessons on Santa Fe' Fiesta history and traditions, mathematics, and team-building to construct Zozobro, recruiting parents to help with the framing to make it a full community effort, and adorn him with traditional Mexican tissue paper flowers. At 4:30 pm on Wednesday, shortly after the Fiesta Court visits the school, a music club procession will lead to the school’s basketball court, where Zozobro will burn.
With him will go worries collected from throughout the school and stuffed into the sculpture’s shoulders.
“For my kids, it was super important, just the cooperation—they had to design and do the blueprints and so on, and then for the school, it's important to have a place to really let go of the worries and see that sometimes we all have the same ones,” Martinez says. “So we'll have discussion about, ‘Well, what did you write down.’ ‘Oh, me too.’ It’s not so much an Oprah Winfrey show, but we get into the common worries or the common troubles, whether finances or family problems or so on, so it’s an outlet to see the unity in life.”
This is the second year for Zozobro, after last year saw Martinez’s seventh grade history class working on three spin-off burning sculptures. While he jokes that they’ll find out if Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe has anything to say about the carefully guarded tradition they sponsor (the club was none too pleased with a satirical @Old_Man_Gloom Twitter account that popped up last year), so far it looks like the Tierra Encantada kids are in the clear.
Zozobra event chair Ray Sandoval wasn’t aware of the fauxzo.
“You know, I think that we all want to participate and if this is a learning opportunity for the kids and it brings them together, I don’t have a problem with that,” he said on Tuesday afternoon at Sanbusco Center, where the O.G. Zozobra rests just a few days away from meeting its maker.
“If it were much taller than 10 feet and they started charging admission, then we would probably have some,” he continued.
“It looks great! I think the kids are gonna have a lot of fun,” he said, looking at pictures of Zozobro on a reporter’s mobile phone.Sandoval ended with a caution. “Obviously, burning something is dangerous. We don’t want to encourage all of these little fires everywhere, but at the same time people are respectful and that obviously looks like Zozobra, so I think we’re OK with it.”
The real deal Friday evening festivities will be followed the next day with the Santa Fe Fiesta Mariachi Extravaganza, featuring Mariachi Sol de Mexico, Al Hurricane & Al Hurricane, Jr., and this year, for the first time, preceded by 5K and 10K run for adults and 1K for kids as well as entertainment beginning at 3pm. Fort Marcy Park opens at 7pm and the burning is at 9:30pm.
Downtown parking will be $5 in city-owned facilities and a free shuttle service will run from parking lots to the event site. Bus service to and from the site is also free.
Look out for road closures along Bishops Lodge Road from Paseo de Peralta to Murales Road, Old Taos Highway from Paseo de Peralta to Murales Road, Paseo de Peralta between Grant and Washington, Murales Road and Federal Place, and restricted car traffic patterns on Paseo de Peralta and Old Taos Highway. Expect the Cross of the Martyrs area to also be closed this year.
Tickets are $10 and more information are at www.burnzozobra.com and various Guadalupe Credit Union and State Employees Credit Union locations.
SFR Deputy Editor Enrique Limón contributed to this story.