SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Old Man Gloom once again went up in flames Friday evening taking everyone’s hardships and struggles with him. Thousands attended the 98th burning of Zozobra in Santa Fe. The 50-foot tall marionette was stuffed with things that go wrong in life like divorce papers and other personal notes. Each one hoping for a clean slate. “It’s my first time at Zozobra, I came from Las Cruces, so I’m just ready to throw away all the bad after post-pandemic and start all new. So I’m ready for a good time and a good party,” said Pamela Harrison at the event.

For the first time since before the pandemic, the event was at full capacity with people packed into Fort Marcy Park. Those at the event were ecstatic to move forward. “I guess the weight from COVID, I guess. Quarantine. We’re finally out here doing things and we don’t have to worry,” said Alexander Shelton.

COVID seemed to be one of everyone’s biggest glooms that they released Friday night. Others were letting go of something much more personal. “Unfortunately, two months ago my sister passed away, so just a lot of emotions with all of that. Every day is a gift and you want to live to the fullest and so that’s why I’m here and why I’m doing it,” said one participant.

This year Zozobra donned 90s attire. It’s part of the Decades Project counting up to its 100th anniversary. This year Albuquerque judge William Parnall voiced Zozobra.