Preparations underway for Zozobra

SANTA FE (KRQE) – Zozobra turns 90 this year, and Old Man Gloom is returning to his roots.

Organizers are calling it Zozobra’s triumphant return to a Friday. Pre-sale tickets are setting records and organizers believe Fort Marcy Park will be packed with as many as 50,000 people.

“Ticket sales are on fire. In fact, we’ve breached 10,000 tickets and that’s a record for us. The previous record was about 1800,” Ray Sandoval, the Zozobra event chair, said Thursday.

Crews spent much of the day putting up tents and setting the perimeter at the park in preparation. They’ve already put up about 2.5 miles of fencing in the surrounding area to prevent crowds from cutting through properties.

Zozobra himself won’t be at the park until Friday morning. Crews will load him onto a flatbed truck in pieces and assemble him at the park.

People will notice some big changes this year; Zozobra is a wanted criminal this year. He’ll be shirtless, shackled, wearing a loin cloth and sporting a handlebar mustache.

His appearance has already been a little controversial, but organizers say they’re just taking it back to Zozobra’s 1920’s roots.

“Although Zozobra looks very different, i guarantee people that by the very end of the night, Zozobra will be the Zozobra that they know and love,” Sandoval said.

Sandoval says there are still some surprises in store, and of course, and big fireworks show to cap off the night. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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