Santa Fe ready to burn Old Man Gloom

Santa Fe ready to burn Old Man Gloom.

SANTA FE (KRQE) – The Zozobra crowds are starting to fill Santa Fe’s Fort Marcy Park. Old Man Gloom should be set on fire in just a few hours on the first Friday night in more than 15 years and organizers are expecting to break records.

The gates opened at 3:00 p.m. Friday. The main field, and overflow field, can hold more than 50,000 people. Organizers are hoping to come close to that number as the burning of Zozobra is on a Friday for the first time in quite a while and at the beginning of Labor Day weekend.

Early sales were off the charts, with more than 10,000 tickets sold in advance.

Zozobra is turning 90 this year and he looks a lot like he did in the 1920s when local artist Will Shuster created him.

Some notable changes this year include, he has a loin cloth, is shirtless and is shackled. But the talk of Zozobra is his facial hair.

The last year Zozobra was held on a Friday night was in 1997. It was moved to Thursdays after that because of a deadly shooting on the plaza after the event.

That was during fiesta weekend, but this year, Zozobra is being held a week earlier than fiesta.

There are bands playing and groups performing throughout the afternoon but the big show should start around 8:30 or 9:00 p.m.

Crews have started closing roads around Fort Marcy Park. Use the map below to plan your route if you’re planning to attend Zozobra. 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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