The Entrada is Really Over

Fiesta Council, Caballeros de Vargas confirm it

The two groups responsible for organizing the Entrada during Santa Fe Fiesta in September announced today that they've retired the divisive pageant.

The announcements come a little over a week after SFR reported on a resolution adopted by the All Pueblo Council of Governors on July 19 that stated several parties, including the Caballeros de Vargas, the Fiesta Council, the Archbishop and the city had agreed to end the event.

In a press release issued Tuesday, the Caballeros, a fraternity refounded in 1956 that organizes Catholic ceremonies dedicated to an interpretation of the Virgin Mary known as "La Conquistadora," said it retired the Entrada "for the sake that all cultures be united, in honor of the peace that was achieved through Our Lady of Peace, La Conquistadora."

Protesters have targeted the Entrada because of its whitewashed depiction of Spanish settlers' reconquest of Northern New Mexico in 1692. The press release from the Caballeros says the group "acknowledge[s] that in 1693 and for some years after, there was hostility and resentment between the Native and Spanish cultures," but also maintains things ain't been so bad since.

The Caballeros still plan to hold an event during Fiesta, but provided no details of what or where it may be. The organization is also explicitly dedicated to perpetuating the memory of Don Diego de Vargas, the conquistador who recolonized Northern New Mexico for Spain in 1692.

The Fiesta Council, which organizes the majority of events during the Fiesta celebration that begins Labor Day weekend, put out its own release today in support of the Caballeros' decision.

"This is the first of many steps that will allow generations of Santafecinos to set aside painful actions, while affording us an opportunity to focus wholeheartedly on the original intent of the 1712 proclamation, which called for masses, sermon, vespers and procession through the Plaza," Melissa Mascareñas, the president of the Fiesta Council, said in a statement.

Mascareñas told SFR last Monday that she had not yet signed anything agreeing to alter or get rid of the Entrada, but the Fiesta Council's press release today says she intends to sign "a new resolution that will set aside the contentious pageantry."

Mayor Alan Webber acknowledged the pair of announcements in his own statement on Twitter:

In addition to demanding the end of the Entrada, the resolution from the All Pueblo Council of Governors also asks for an apology from the Catholic Church for historic injustices committed against Pueblo people, a new proclamation celebrating "all cultures" that contribute to the region's identity, and that a Truth and Reconciliation commission be established to plan a new celebratory commemoration of the region's history.

And it asks the city of Santa Fe to commission a new public art piece for the Santa Fe Plaza that reflects "the spirit of peace as a gift to all future generations," the document says.

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