Santa Fe Fiesta
Santa Fe

Santa Fe Fiesta Celebration - September 1-9, 2019

The Santa Fe Fiesta is the oldest continuous community celebration in the United States. Since 1712 the people of Santa Fe have taken pride in both the historical and religious significance that the Santa Fe Fiesta projects. It is a unique blend of rich multicultural heritage commemorating the return of the Spanish colonists. Santa Fe starts celebrating with various pre-Fiesta shows.

ZozobraWhen is the BURNING of ZOZOBRA?
Friday, August 30, 2019

Many locals begin celebrating immediately after Zozobra has been burned however the official start of Fiesta is The Pregon De La Fiesta, a Mass at The Rosario Chapel the morning after Zozobra has been torched. Burning Zozobra began in 1924.  One of the most popular events of the Fiesta weekend. This year it is The 94th annual burning of ZOZOBRA is August 30, 2019 at historic Fort Marcy Ball Park in beautiful downtown Santa Fe. The gates open at 3 p.m. See event Map by Clicking here

What is Zozobra?
Zozobra is a 50 foot tall white marionette (puppet), with a black bow tie, black belt and cuffs, big neon green glowing eyes, and huge red lips. It was created by Santa Fe artist Will Shuster in 1924 and represents all of the "gloom" (hardships and disappointments) that people have experienced throughout the year. For this reason it is nicknamed "Old Man Gloom."

Why do they burn Zozobra?
It is believed that as Zozobra burns away, all of the past years hardships and disappointments that people have experienced burn away with him.

What can you expect to see during the burning of Zozobra?

When it begins to get dark, small fires are lit in front of Zozobra . A Fire Spirit Dancer in a red costume and small white "glooms" (children dressed in white) start dancing in front of Zozobra. The Fire Spirit Dancer dances and jumps trying to frighten away the "glooms". With anticipation building from the spectators, Zozobra is finally set on fire. As the flames sore up its body the arms start to move up and down and the heard turns from side to side. Fireworks light the night sky as Zozobra starts to moan and groan, the anguishing cries getting louder as the flames engulf its entire body (it can be scary to younger children). After the performance, the street leading from the park to the Plaza is closed to traffic so spectators can walk to the Plaza to dance, eat, and socialize.

Will Shuster's Zozobra burning is Friday at dusk at Fort Marcy Park. There is entertainment and food booths on the Plaza. Tickets available the day of the event and in advance. All proceeds will benefit the children and youth of Santa Fe.

Special Note: Each year The Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe stages the burning of Zozobra.

Planning the event is a year round activity and is done in cooperation with the City of Santa Fe and the Santa Fe Fiesta Council.



The Plaza is alive throughout the Fiesta weekend with a variety of entertainment, including Spanish dancing, mariachi music, food booths, craft booths, parades, ceremonies with a costumed Don Diego De Vargas and a court of the Queen and Princesses of the Fiesta, The Fiesta Melodrama, and a Carnival at the Rodeo Fairgrounds. One of Fiesta's most charming events, the Pet Parade, or Desfile de los Ninos, begins around 10 AM on Saturday. Children, parents and pets ranging from cats and dogs to llamas and snakes circle the Plaza and walk along downtown streets dressed in costumes (arrive early for a good curbside seat). Among Sunday afternoon's highlights is the Historical/Hysterical parade which features floats, marching bands, horses, and politicians. Sunday evening there is Fiesta Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Francis Cathedral, followed by a Candlelight Procession from the church through the historic downtown streets and up the hill to Cross of the Martyrs. Hundreds of people participate. The light from their candles is a beautiful sight and an appropriate ending to the weekend's events.

la conquistadora


While planning his reoccupation of Santa Fe from the Pueblo Indians after their revolt and occupation of the city, Don Diego De Vargas prayed to La Conquistadora (a 29-inch wood carved Marian statue, originally brought to Santa Fe in 1625 by the missionary, Fray Alonso de Benavides) at a makeshift altar. He implored her to intercede for the successful re-entry into the town. Before the end of December 1693, De Vargas led his triumphant forces back into the City of the Holy Faith, crediting the Madonna's intercession with his victory. (La Conquistadora is the oldest statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the United States. She was crowned in 1954 by Cardinal Francis Spellman and again in 1960 by an apostolic representative of Pope John XXIII.) Lt. Governor Paez Hurtado who had been one of de Vargas’s captains and a close friend, influenced city officials to draft a proclamation for an annual celebration commemorating the peaceful 1692 resettlement. In 1712 the then-governor of the province Jose Chacon Medina Salazar y Villaseor, the marquis of Penuela, by proclamation set forth the first Fiesta de Santa Fe. It is the oldest civic celebration of its kind in North America. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT LA CONQUISTADORA VISIT WEBSITE:

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