In an effort to welcome the upcoming National Senior Games to Albuquerque, the city has unveiled a centerpiece for the event in Civic Plaza.
Crews deployed the custom, locally made cauldron Monday, which will carry a burning flame for the duration of the games.
The city set out a plan back in October to build an iconic cauldron for the games, earmarking $50,000 in Lodgers Tax funds for the project. In the end, the city says it spent about $20,000 on the torch, which is about 10 to 12 feet tall.
The cauldron was designed and built by Albuquerque metal artist Damian Velasquez.
“It has some New Mexico specific accidents to it, so you’ll see some turquoise coming through in the design as well,” said Alicia Manzano, Mayor Keller’s liaison for Strategic Partnership
The cauldron will live in Civic Plaza for the games, but the city says it’s planning to move it, eventually.
“We’re looking for a specific place within the city to place cauldron, we’re not sure exactly where we’re going to have a permanent home for it yet,” Manzano said.
While it may not be the tallest torch, the city thinks it’s a worthy investment for the people and money the games will bring to Albuquerque.
“We’re expecting $34-million in economic impact,” said Keller.
The cauldron will be lit Saturday night at a ceremony in Civic Plaza around 7 p.m. The city is keeping it a secret as to who will light it.
Security wise, the city says they’ll have someone watching the cauldron, as well.
The $20,000 the city used to build the cauldron comes from Lodger’s Tax fund which comes from hotel fees and must be used on tourist and recreational projects.