SANTA FE (KRQE) - It is a New Mexican tradition—the burning of Will Schuster's Zozobra and with it, goes all your gloom.
After last year's gloomy turnout, organizers have worked to revamp the show. Now, they say they are on track to get about twice as many visitors for the Sept. 5th event.
Complaints regarding long lines and overpriced tickets prompted a slew of changes that are getting positive feedback from locals as well as encouraging involvement from people around the world.
Old Man Gloom has a few more days of rest before he'll burn in downtown Santa Fe, along with the gloom of tens of thousands of people, not just from New Mexico this year, but from around the world.
Event organizers say about 7,000 people submitted their worries online for the first time.
“We have places such as Angola, Japan, lots of places in South America, Europe, of coursee is represented and so it's just global,” said Ray Sandoval, the event committee chair.
If everything goes as planned, this Zozobra will also be the tallest one yet, an inch taller than last year at 50 feet and 2 inches high.
“It takes about 1,200 human or volunteer hours to construct Zozobra,” Sandoval said.
He said he is expecting about 30,000 people to show up this year to watch it burn.
Organizers dropped prices from $20 to $10 for adults, they are offering $5 shuttles to the event and hope to cut down on lines by opening up more entrances.
That is following the backlash from last year.
“That was our lowest attendance ever and so we really went back and tried to look at everything from the ground up to make changes, so it would make it easier for people to attend and just have a good and enjoyable time,” Sandoval said.
Local artist Will Schuster first created the Zozobra in 1924, and Sandoval said organizers got out his journal this year while planning the show.
“People will feel like it is a brand new show, but it's really being restored to its original beauty.”
All the worries sent online will be printed out and the Santa Fe mayor will stuff them in the Zozobra that night before it burns.
The 89th Burning of Zozobra is Thursday Setpember 5th at Fort Marcy Ball Park in downtown Santa Fe.
Gates open at 3 p.m.
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